Socialist Worker

UKIP: no EU - but yes to EU expenses

by Chris Bambery
Published Tue 2 Jun 2009
Issue No. 2154

“Say no to paying the EU £40 million a day,” cry United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) billboards.

But UKIP’s leaders are happy to feed from the European parliamentary gravy train.

UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage admits he has taken around £2 million pounds worth of taxpayers’ money in expenses and allowances as a member of the European Parliament.

This is on top of his £64,000 a year salary.

A dozen UKIP candidates were elected to the European parliament at the last election.

One, Ashley Mote, was expelled from the party – and later jailed for benefit fraud.

Another, Tom Wise, is facing prosecution for alleged false accounting and money laundering relating to his EU expenses. He denies the charges.

Despite this, Mote has a pension worth £174,968 and Wise a pension worth £235,000.

Both will receive a “transitional payment” of £32,382 when they step down this week.

Godfrey Bloom, another UKIP MEP, has used his parliamentary staff allowance to pay three assistants – who happen to be employed at an investment company in which he is a major shareholder.

UKIP is hoping to profit from the scandal surrounding MPs’ expenses but the party is just more of the same.


Article information

News
Tue 2 Jun 2009, 18:21 BST
Issue No. 2154
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