The European Parliament has agreed on a compromise text on the heated issue of salaries for members of parliament, paving the way for equal pay for all deputies as well as a more transparent system of travel expenses.
The European Parliament on Wednesday agreed on a compromise text on the controversial issue of salaries for members of parliament, paving the way for equal pay for all deputies as well as a more transparent system of travel expenses. The historic deal, which saw 345 votes in favor, 94 against and 88 abstentions, resolves the key hurdle that was preventing member states from giving their go-ahead. The vote opens up the possibility that the statute could be agreed before the next parliamentary elections in June; for this, member states would have to accept the proposed compromise by mid-January, ending 25 years of difficult negotiations. Following reservations by member states, MEPs agreed to increase their pension age from 60 to 63, and left it up to the EU states whether to impose their national tax regime on top of the lower community tax, as long as double taxation does not occur. An agreement on the statute would also pave the way for the reform of the MEPs lavish perk system. Currently, MEPs get a big lump sum each time they travel to Brussels or Strasbourg, irrespective of the actual cost of the ticket. Under the new system, expenses would be based on actual costs. ( EUobserver.com)