How the EU Spends Your Money – Scandalous Expense Claims by EU Officials Uncovered

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LONDON – England – New research by Vote Leave exposes the most outrageous and excessive expenses claims by EU officials.

 

 

Vote Leave looked through the discretionary spending on EU officials in 2014 and found how EU officials are often living a life of luxury at our expense. This included trips to luxury resorts, flights on private jets and Caribbean cruises.

 

Commenting, Priti Patel MP said:

 

‘This is how EU officials are spending your money. The complete lack of transparency in the EU means that Eurocrats think they can get away with living the high life at our expense. They have tried to hide this spending for years.

 

‘Most families have been hit hard since the financial crisis, having to tighten their belts to make ends meet. But EU officials are using our money to fund their jollies and exorbitant expense claims.

 

‘The only way to stop your money being spent in this way by EU bureaucrats is to Vote Leave on 23 June. If we leave the EU we can take back control of the £350 million a week we send to Brussels and instead we can spend it on our priorities like the NHS.’

 

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Some of the worst examples include:

 

Private jets – EU officials spent €439,341 on Luxaviation, a luxury private jet provider, which offers a choice of 250 private jets, wines from their own extensive cellar, on board culinary facilities and uniformed hostesses.

 

Luxury hotels – EU officials spent  €222,716 on Luxury Hotels, including €54,677 at the five star Stamford Hotel in Brisbane and €22,193 at the five star Shangri La Hotel in Singapore which offers ‘signature’ massages at its Chi Massage Spa.

 

Resorts – Officials from the EC Departments responsible for the ‘Environment’ spent €15,549 on resorts including €8,209 on the Alpine Gangwon-Do Resort in South Korea and its ‘composite tourism complex’ which features artificial alpine lakes.

 

Cruises – Officials from EC Departments including ‘Environment’ and ‘Employment Social Affairs and Inclusion’, spent €2,030 on cruises including €1,486 on Royal Caribbean Cruises which offer 164 individually named ship cocktails and a €69 ‘unlimited alcohol package’ and €544 on Costa Crociere whose fleet of cruise ships bear the European Union flag.

 

Chauffeurs – EU spin doctors and researchers spent €23,696 on chauffeur taxi services including €10,062 on Don Williams Chauffeur Services, an elite and ‘pet friendly’ chauffeur service, which operate Range Rovers and Mercedes V and S class vehicles.

 

Restaurants – Officials from EC Departments including ‘Environment’, ‘Research and Innovation’ and the ‘Joint Research Centre’ spent €176,872 on top restaurants including the €2,228 at the Restaurant de Watermolen in Antwerp and €7,450 at the Jean Monnet and Altiero Spinelli dining rooms of the Atelier Euro in Brussels.

 

Chateaus – Officials from the EC Department responsible for ‘Agriculture and Rural Development’ (and the administration of the Common Agricultural Policy) spent €5,865 on chateaus including €3,727 at the gourmet Chateau de Limelette.

 

Golf – Officials from the Joint Research Centre (the European Commission’s ‘science and knowledge’ resource), spent €2,500 on The European Golf Club they also spent €907 on Club Zaudin Golf.

 

High Class Catering – EU spin doctors spent €3,453 at Brambles, corporate event caterers, who are ‘…proud of their hand produced artisan food’ and provide ‘mixologists’ at events to make cocktails. Officials at the EU’s Directorate-General for Health and Consumers paid BaxterStorey €5,187. BaxterStorey offer an ‘…exceptional front of house service’ with ‘Signature Chefs’. Officials from the same department also spent €2,238 at Knights Catering Limited a ‘Corporate and Event Caterer making Yummy Food for Yummy People’.

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Methodology

 

The European Commission’s Financial Transparency System (FTS) allows users to search for the beneficiaries of funding from the Commission directly (since 2007) and beneficiaries of the European Development Fund (since 2010). It is intended to comply with EU law which requires that ‘the Commission shall make available, in an appropriate and timely manner, information on recipients, as well as the nature and purpose of the measure financed from the budget’. However, it appears to be deliberately designed to frustrate investigators, with examples of lavish expenditure hidden away under innocent sounding headings, such as ‘communication’. For instance, you can find expense claims for cruises logged under ‘environment’.

As expenditure is often hidden away under misleading headings, it is often extremely difficult to navigate. For 2014, the last year that figures are available, we were able to identify EU officials spending taxpayers’ money on the following items/services:

 

Item

Amount (€)

Alcohol

€8,315 (£6,452)

Catering

€249,780 (£193,829)

Chateaus

€5,865 (£4,551)

Chauffeurs

€23,696 (£19,118)

Chocolate

€1,200 (£931)

Clubs

€108,893 (£84,501)

Coaches

€80,249 (£62,273)

Coffee

€1,946 (£1,510)

Cruises

€2,030 (£1,575)

Decoration

€952 (£739)

Dinner

€14,019 (£10,879)

Football

€7,609 (£5,904.58)

Furniture

€2,010,860 (£1,560,427)

Golf

€9,582 (£7,435)

Luxury Hotel

€214,507 (£166,457)

Party

€13,436 (£10,426)

Photography

€1,047 (£812)

Rent (vehicles)

€789,196 (£612,416)

Resorts

€15,549 (£12,066)

Restaurant

€176,872 (£137,253)

Team building and away days

€54,971 (£42,657)

Tennis

€71,400 (£55,406)

Toys

€1,137 (£882)

Travel

€31,511,895 (£24,453,231)

Other items:

€1,287 on rent to firm that provides music technology for raves.

€526 to an organisation that advertises hunting.

€1,813 (£1,407)

Total

€35,376,819 (£27,452,412)