MEPs vote for thrift and single seat

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has welcomed the endorsement by a majority of MEPs for the European Parliament to end the 'travelling circus' to Strasbourg in favour of one permanent seat which would be in Brussels.

Voting on EU budget guidelines for 2013 MEPs also decided to freeze their own allowances until mid-2014 and cap their travel budget at its present level in line with their demand that all EU institutions cut their administrative spending.

Sarah Ludford commented:

"MEPs must tighten their own belts. But to ensure taxpayers are getting maximum value for money we need an independent evaluation of the EU budget to point up scope for cuts."

"MEPs have sent another strong protest about the pollution cost and sheer folly of the European Parliament's split seat. The 1.3 million people who signed up to the OneSeat petition in 2007 have been ignored by EU governments the only ones who can change things. But Europe's public today cannot be ignored against a backdrop of economic crisis and pressing environmental concerns."

"With Denmark which currently holds the EU Presidency supportive of one Parliamentary seat in Brussels I hope for some real movement on this issue."

Notes to editors

1. The full report on the guidelines for the 2013 budget can be found here:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A7-2012-0030&language=EN

2. MEPs cannot themselves decide where they meet. This is in the EU Treaty which the 27 national governments decide on.

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