Hand your 'Brexit bonus' to food banks, MEPs told

Campaigners say Euro MPs should not benefit personally from the collapse in sterling - a plunge triggered by the referendum result they campaigned for

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Indy Politics

Euro MPs who campaigned to leave the EU are under pressure to hand their huge ‘Brexit bonus’ – because of the plunging pound – to local food banks.

A campaign has been launched to prevent the politicians from personally gaining a huge windfall at the same time as the collapse in sterling punishes Britons with higher prices in the shops.

British Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are paid €8,213 each month, in line with the salaries of MPs at Westminster who earn £74,962 a year.

But, thanks to the value of the pound plummeting after the referendum result, that monthly package is now worth £6,982 – a leap from £6,317 a month in May.

Earlier this month, the movement in the exchange rate took monthly pay as high as £7,307, which meant MEPs were in line to gain a staggering £1,000 a month.

But a cheaper pound pushes up the cost of importing basic goods – which is expected to propel inflation to at least three per cent next year.

Now a group of campaigners led by Melissa Goodman, from Southampton, has written to Brexit-backing MEPs demanding they act on their good fortune.

The letter reads: “You are no doubt aware that those already struggling to make ends meet will be hardest hit by the delayed impact of rising inflation on food prices.

“As our elected MEPs, you are charged with working in the best interests of those you represent.

“Having campaigned for Leave, you are now partly responsible for any deficit in the pockets of your constituents, while you yourselves benefit from an even more valuable MEP wage, paid in Euros.

“As representatives from each of your constituencies, we request that you declare publicly the increase in your monthly take-home salary and allowances, following the devaluation of the pound, and urge you to consider donating your “Brexit bonus” in its entirety to food banks in your constituency.

“To do otherwise would not reflect well on a group supposedly concerned with the future of the UK and its citizens.”

The letter has been sent to all 30 MEPs who campaigned for Brexit, signed by people from every region and nation of the UK.

There has been particular criticism of Ukip MEPs for continuing to claim their salaries from the European Parliament they campaigned to get rid of.

Earlier this month, Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake said: “While the fall in sterling is hitting families through higher prices in shops, Farage and his Ukip colleagues are enjoying a Brexit bonus worth thousands of pounds.”

A Ukip spokesman said: “When the euro collapsed so did salaries. They spend most of their money in Brussels so what they can buy has remained the same.”

Unless the pound bounces back in value, Brussels officials are expected to readjust the rates of MEPs’ pay in January so it stays in line with salaries at Westminster.

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