MEPs rattle the bowl

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The Independent Online
What started as a clampdown on the abuse of perks by members of the European Parliament could end up as a massive financial boost for British MEPs.

They hope that the clampdown will lead to the harmonising of MEPs' salaries - and that could double or triple the salaries of the Britons in Strasbourg. British MEPs at present receive much smaller salaries than most of their European counterparts. Karl Haensch, the president of the parliament, yesterday endorsed the proposals for the salaries to be harmonised.

The latest move to reform the generous perks regime comes in the wake of a documentary shown last month on ITV. The programme used hidden cameras to show MEPs signing on for their pounds 175 per diem allowance on a Friday morning, before promptly leaving Strasbourg to go home.