Amid all thee excitement over the EU bureaucrats' demands for an inflation-busting 3.7% payrise smack in the middle of the worst recession since the 1930s, Bruno Waterfield at the Telegraph brings us news that according to an internal document seen by the paper European Parliament officials have proposed a 9 percent increase in the partliamentary assistance allowance, taking it to £203,000 in 2010. It is also understood that staff expenses will be further increased by another £16,000 in 2011, taking the total annual allowance to almost £220,000.
Why? Because EP officials reckon all the extra cash is needed as a result of the Lisbon Treaty.
Don't forget this is on top of the "general expenditure allowance" worth over £44,000 that MEPs can pocket without having to provide any receipts. While working in Brussels or Strasbourg, MEPs also trouser a £265 cash subsistence payment, worth over £40,000 tax-free every year.
And with the expected 3.7% salary rise, an MEP will earn almost £86,000 a year.