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Gravy train culture has got to stop

21 April, 2009

Speaking this evening from Strasbourg Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald MEP has called for full disclosure of expenses by MEPs noting “it is time to end the gravy train culture that continues to reside in Brussels and the Dáil.” The Dublin MEP also said there can be no bail out of the MEPs pension fund.

Ms McDonald said:

“It is being proposed that the EU budget be used to make up the European parliament €120 pension fund deficit. This simply cannot happen. There can be no bail out for the MEPs pension fund. The financial crisis is affecting pension throughout Europe and workers have been left high and dry. And what is good or the goose must also be good for the gander. It is also shocking that some MEPs may be benefiting from two pensions, one from their member state parliament and another from the EU.

“But this is the gravy train culture that continues to reside in Brussels and beyond. In Ireland the majority of MEPs have refused to disclose their expenses. Europe urgently needs greater accountability and transparency. The people of Europe deserve better. Across the member states low-income families and the vulnerable are shouldering the heaviest burden of the financial crisis. The gravy train is not stopping at their door. I am calling on all MEPs, but particularly my colleagues in Ireland to publish their expenses in advance of the elections in June.” ENDS

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