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Bairbre de Brún publishes MEP expenses


Publishing her expenses, Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún said that Sinn Féin has argued for the expenses system within the European Parliament to be streamlined, simplified and made more transparent.

Ms de Brún said:

“Sinn Féin has voted for reforms to the European Parliament expenses system which means there will be more transparency in the next European Parliament term, and we will support further changes to make the system fairer and more open.

“On Friday we published full details of our Westminster expenses and today I am publishing my European Parliament expenses.

“Sinn Féin activists, including our elected representatives, work hard to deliver political change for the benefit of our constituents. We are not in politics for personal or self-gain. In fact our elected representatives have been the subject of threats, intimidation and attack over three decades.

“Like our MPs, MLAs and all other full-time paid party activists, I receive an average industrial wage which is £356 per week net. Other MEPs take their full salary of approx. £64,000 a year.

“In order to get to Brussels and Europe and do the job for which I have been elected, certain expenditure is necessary.  My allowances include staff costs, travel within the North, travel to and from Brussels and Strasbourg, office costs in the North, rental accommodation in Brussels and hotel accommodation in Strasbourg.

“I do not employ any relative.

“I also gave a commitment before the last election to bring the working of Europe to local people and my track record is there for everyone to see.

“I am publishing my expenses over the period since I entered the European Parliament. I challenge the other sitting MEPs to do the same and I challenge the other parties, particularly those with MPs, to publish their expenses.” ENDS

Note to Editors
Bairbre de Brún MEP: Allowances and Reimbursements

Allowances (£)                         2004      2005        2006        2007      2008
MEP Staff Allowances          47696    111901    122463    124844   148598
Office Cost Allowances        14137      31839       31828      31929     34754

Reimbursements (£)             2004      2005        2006          2007       2008
Travel & Subsistence            26169    56031       55129       49885       54029

Notes

Parliamentary Assistance Allowance (MEP Staff Allowances)
This is used to employ 5 full time staff. No staff members are relatives or family members of Bairbre de Brún.
General Expenditure Allowance (Office Cost Allowance)
This is used to cover all MEP related expenditure within the constituency and includes office running costs, equipment purchase, travel within the North, etc.

Travel and Subsistence Reimbursement
These cover costs incurred when attending the European Parliament institutions, including rental of a flat in Brussels and hotel accommodation in Strasbourg.
The two main elements are ‘Flat rate’ Travel and subsistence.
Flat rate Travel covers travel to and from the institutions (including airfares & rail). This is currently paid at a flat rate which is usually in excess of the actual costs. The excess is used to support constituency services and bring the working of the EU institutions to constituents within the North.

Bairbre de Brún voted in favour of changes to these rules that will be in place for the new term (in July) which will mean that only the actual cost of travel to and from the institutions will be reimbursed.

In the period 2004 to 2008 Bairbre de Brún has travelled to the EU Institutions 163 times and attended approximately 368 ‘official’ days (including 221 sitting days).

Salary

Bairbre de Brún is paid a salary of approx £64,000 although a large portion is given to the party to provide constituency services. Bairbre de Brún’s gross salary - like every other paid full-time Sinn Féin activist - is approx £24,000 per annum or £356 per week, net.

Bairbre de Brún’s record within the European Parliament (2004 – 09), includes:
Reports of the European Parliament – 1 (authored Report on the Peace Programme and strategies for the future)

Debates (in plenary) – 118
Attendance - Total: 234 (Number of sitting days during term of office: 288)
Attendance percentage: 81%

Committee membership
Bairbre de Brún works on:
1.    Committee on Regional Development; member
2.    Temporary Committee on Climate Change; substitute member
3.    Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety; substitute member