Pressure on MEPs over secret expenses report

The European
came under mounting pressure last night to publish a secret
report into the misuse of expenses by MEPs, which whistleblowers claim shows
widespread abuse of taxpayers’ money.

The few MEPs permitted to see the internal audit were alarmed after
parliamentary officials said they had not called in EU anti-fraud investigators
because they did not think it showed fraud.

The audit of 167 MEPs’ staff expenses found seven had set up companies to pay
staff who apparently did not exist and others employing unqualified family
members or paying the whole allowance of €15,496 (£11,710) a month to one
person, The Times reports. Moreover, the auditor found more than 20
Christmas bonuses hard to justify.

The report, which does not name any MEPs and is shrouded in secrecy, was
drawn up by an internal auditor and can only be viewed by members on the budget
control committee.

story in The Times

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