NOSE IN TROUGH

Truffles and lobster for MEPs Christmas party…paid for by the British taxpayer

HARD-pressed Britons are picking up the tab for Christmas dinners in Brussels this year, as taxpayers are subsidising the European Parliament’s festive menu.

Published: 09:05, Wed, December 3, 2014

Jean-Claude JunckerGETTY

Jean-Claude Juncker can enjoy lobster and truffles at the tax payer’s expense

MEPs can tuck into a menu of pheasant, foie gras and quail eggs at the The Jan Restaurant in the European Parliament complex. The three-course meal costs just under £16 as the restaurant is subsidised by EU taxpayers, making it an early Christmas present for MEPs – who earn around £6,300 a month.
Andy Silvester of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said the menu showed how “out of touch” those in Brussels had become.  He said: “This is a ludicrous menu for the price, subsidised by families who find paying for their own Christmas lunch expensive enough without paying for anybody else’s. 
his is a ludicrous menu for the price, subsidised by families who find paying for their own Christmas lunch expensive enough without paying for anybody else’s
Andy Silvester
“Since we helped pay for it, shouldn’t taxpayers have been invited?” The menu starts with coconut cream soup with smoked duck breast and truffle oil. After the starter plates have been cleared, MEPs will be served with pheasant with foie gras and truffles, lobster au gratin with lemon sabayon, or vegetable broth with quail eggs and smoked garlic.
If that does not fill their stomachs, MEPs can complement the main dishes with a range of side dishes, including piped potatoes with chestnuts and chopped dried fruits, samphire flan, bundles of green beans, or an assortment of asparagus, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.
For dessert, MEPs can treat themselves to Christmas log or fresh fruit salad. Roger Helmer, leader of the UK Independence Party delegation in the European Parliament, said: “Everybody likes a blow out at Christmas, but it takes a Eurocrat to expect the British taxpayer to pick up the tab”.
When asked if Ukip MEPs were banned from eating the meal, Mr Helmer said: “We don’t need a ban.  “Ukip MEPs have enough common sense not to attend this kind of tax-payer subsidised event”.  The European Parliament authorities said the meal’s price was “eminently reasonable”.

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