Archive for March 6, 2011

MEP’s allowed boob jobs, health spas and Viagra – under £3m scheme paid for by the TAXPAYER
by Simon Preston on Sunday, 06 March 2011
Abuse: Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘It is grotesquely outrageous’

Nearly £3 million of taxpayers’ money will be frittered away on Viagra sex pills and other ‘cosmetic’ treatments to MEPs and their families.

Leaked documents have revealed that the Brussels gravy train allows Eurocrats to claim for breast reductions, anti-ageing products and slimming treatments.

Taxpayers are also expected to fund at least two-thirds of the cost of trips to health spas under the lax medical expenses regime. In some cases MEPs can claim back the entire costs of treatment.

The details were revealed in a leaked copy of the Practical Guide to the Reimbursement of Medical Expenses.

The £2.9m budget for Euro MPs’ medical expenses also covers alternative therapies and new age treatments, including lymphatic drainage – a form of massage that advocates claim helps the body eliminate toxins.

The husbands and sons of female MEPs can also claim for private treatment to resolve problems with impotence. Viagra is available if the condition is the result of a serious illness. 

Critics condemned the cost of the scheme at a time of financial austerity, which have risen by a staggering 36 per cent since last year, when the programme cost £2.2m.

The lavish system of perks available for MEPs is even more generous than the controversial system of payments for MPs in Westminster.

While British MPs have successfully claimed the cost of some medical procedures under their expenses regime, they do not have a dedicated private health scheme.

It is also better than that available to most ordinary voters. While most NHS Trusts in the UK will only fund three cycles of IVF treatment MEPs are entitled to five.

Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘You couldn’t make it up. It is grotesquely outrageous. How on earth they think this can be justified just beggars belief.

‘It sums up the grotesque waste of money that is the European Union. It is a prime example of how Brussels wastes our money on a daily basis. It’s about time we drew it to an end.’

Tory MP Douglas Carswell said: ‘Until we have an in-out referendum Europe is going to keep on costing us more in ever higher perks for MEPs and Eurocrats.

‘We managed to end the extreme nonsense of the expenses system in Westminster because we were able to sack the MPs concerned. Until we get the chance to sack the Eucroracts, Brussels is going to keep taking us to the cleaners.’ 

Brussels: The lavish system of perks available for MEPs is even more generous than the controversial system of payments for MPs in Westminster

Nikki Sinclaire, independent MEP for the West Midlands, said: ‘This is a huge amount of money and every penny comes from the taxpayer.

‘Most families are tightening their belts, and many people are concerned for their financial futures. But the allowances in Brussels keep going up and up. It’s yet more taxpayers’ money you don’t hear about.

‘The system in Europe remains ripe for abuse and that needs to go.’

The European Parliament has defended the rise in costs by arguing that MEPs spend most of their week working outside their home country and therefore cannot benefit from their domestic health services.

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Meanwhie in Westminster MP’s

  • Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper face probe after claiming more than £14,000 travel expenses for their children and Bill Wiggin faces an anti sleeze probe in to invoices submitted for “room hire”


LEDBURY’S MP Bill Wiggin could be facing another investigation by the government sleaze watchdog after a complaint that he claimed £5,000 of taxpayers’ cash for his local Tory club.Mr Wiggin is facing questions over an invoice that claimed …he paid the money to the North Herefordshire Conservative Association for “room hire” between April 2006 – March 2007.Constituent Jim Miller, from Leominster, is demanding an inquiry and has referred the case to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon.

The Conservative Association says the sum paid covered other parliamentary services, as its secretary was acting as Mr Wiggin’s constituency secretary during that time.

“This meant that she dealt with parliamentary business as well as surgeries,” it said in a statement. “Thus the invoice of £5,000 authorised and paid by the Parliamentary Fees Office in May 2007 covered the whole cost to the Association of parliamentary business as well as organising surgeries for Mr Wiggin during that 12 months. This covered the secretary’s time, telephone, postage, printing and related costs not just room hire for the various venues.

“Surgeries took place approximately every fortnight in various venues around the constituency which included Tenbury Wells, Ledbury, Bromyard, Kington and villages as well as Leominster itself.”

However Mr Miller said: “As far as I am concerned that statement only makes things worse. To me it is an admission of fraud. He said the £5,000 was for room hire and now he is saying it was for something else altogether.”

Mr Miller says that he will be reporting the matter to the police at 3pm today if Mr Wiggin remains MP.

It is not the first time Mr Wiggins’ expense claims have been called into question. He was forced to repay more than £4,000 last October after the watchdog found he claimed expenses he had not incurred.

That inquiry found Mr Wiggin had overclaimed £285 for council tax during the financial year 2005-6 and claimed £4,009 from Parliamentary costs which he did not actually incur between 2004 and 2006.

The Standards and Privileges Committee branded Mr Wiggin’s approach to claiming expenses as “chaotic”.

The MP was also ordered to apologise to the House of Commons for his “muddled failure” to designate his main home correctly for 23 consecutive months.

Mr Wiggin failed to respond to emails and phone calls from the Ledbury Reporter.

Since i wrote this Jim Miller  (now an elected  Councillor for Leominster Town Council)  has started a blog   that will keep you updated on events of Bill Wiggin MP. Is a complete guide of events as they happen including the Police Harassment Bill Wiggin has used to stop Jim Miller telling the truth.