Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stuff you pay for

The Parliament is currently passing the Budget of the European Union and one budget line in the Parliament section caught my eye, (page 22, of this document line 1632)
Social contacts between members of staff and other social measures
And what is this budget line for? A budget line which amounts to 310,000 Euros? It is an
"appropriation 'to encourage and provide financial backing for schemes to promote social contact between staff of different nationalities, ... subsidies to staff clubs, sports associations, cultural societies ...'"
Fortunately somebody on the Budget Committee spotted it and put in an amendment to cancel it saying,
Is Parliament a playground or a place of work?
Of course given that that somebody was a chap called Lucas Hartong and he is a Dutch MEP from Gert Wilders' PVV his amendment was rejected. The net result is that you are paying 310,000 Euros for EP staff members to indeed have a rather wonderful, multi-linguistic and social time of it.

Money well spent you must agree.

Just had an email from Mr Hartong,
Every day that I am voting I think: I´m in the twilight zone..... Only supported by 2 or 3 colleagues who haven´t given up the fight either.

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