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MEPs vote to tighten their own belts

A plan to increase allowances and travel expenses for Members of the European Parliament (MEP) was today put on hold.

key_cbspeakingineuroparl.pngCatherine Bearder called for a freeze on allowances, as well as a curb on money for travel until the next European election in 2014.

And a proposal for an inflation-linked rise in administrative costs as part of the 2013 EU budget guidelines was today blocked at Strasbourg.

Catherine said: "We are all trying to tighten our belts and cut back and we must work harder to get rid of inefficiency and waste.

"It seems fairly obvious to me that MEPs should lead the way in making important savings. We must ensure our money goes further."

Catherine has also been behind calls to abandon the parliament's second home at Strasbourg and focus all the EU's work in Brussels.

She added: "The pollution, cost, inefficiency and remoteness of this travelling circus are ridiculous.

"There needs to be a full and frank evaluation of the parliament's budget to make sure we get value for money.

"Until that happens, I want to see a freeze on administrative spending on all EU institutions."

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