From the International Herald Tribune on the E.U.’s legislature’s “well-oiled system of perks and privileges”:

…which might make a corporate president smile in recognition: chauffeured cars; daily and monthly stipends that can add tens of thousands of euros to basic salaries; jobs for relatives paid out of a E150,000 (about $180,000) a year secretarial allowance; free health care; pensions that, as one legislator put it, can put “gin on the terrace”; and, most stunningly, a travel expense procedure that reimburses legislators for as much as 10 times the amount of their airfare ticket prices. According to payroll and expense records obtained by the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times, a legislator can add well over E100,000 to a base salary when all the tax-free benefits are calculated…

…Budgeted at nearly E100 million in the aggregate, European deputies’ benefits easily top those for members of any EU-member national parliament. (The U.S. Congress, in which members of the House receive million-dollar budgets to finance sizable staffs is another story, but nepotism in hiring is barred there and reimbursement is generally tied to actual costs incurred.) [“Perks at EU Parliament: A system out of control?”]

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