Nigel Farage has claimed £15,000 a year from the European Union to fund an office that cost only £3,000 a year to run, according to The Times. Farage has claimed The Times 'wilfully' mislead their readers.
Members of the European parliament are expected to use their tax payer funded allowance appropriately, but are not required to provide receipts for this and are expected to follow the guidelines as a 'matter of honour'. Despite this, the European Union does have rules on what allowances can be spent on and The Times has reported that the incident was referred to the European expenses watchdog over how £60,000 of office expenses has been claimed since transparency declarations began in 2009. According to a UKIP statement on Monday night, Farage is "confident that he has abided by European parliamentary rules at all times when spending allowances".
Only last week Farage criticized Maria Miller for 'taking the mickey out of the system' through her expenses claims. He also suggested the government should introduce more robust ways in which MPs could be sacked for serious wrongdoing. Where Maria Miller's expenses claims appear to be of a different nature to Nigel Farage's, money was paid into his personal bank account and he may have broken rules.
Farage has said that he has used part of the allowance to help campaign against Europe. Using taxpayer's money to help fund a political campaign may be within the rules of the European Union and may account for much of the money spent, but isn't generally considered ethical in British politics.
If it transpires Farage has broken the loose rules for MEP's allowances, it could be proof to the public that he is worse than the 'taxpayer funded expensive bureaucrats' he campaigns against. If not, Farage has proven that he too is a complicit part of the 'system' of bureaucrats he rants so much about.
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