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The runaway gravy train

PRIME Minister David Cameron has been pursuing cuts in the European Union budget, particularly the perks received by Eurocrats.

The EU high heid yins have predictably shied away from taking away allowances and other emoluments built in to the EU admin budget, planned to rise from £45 billion to £51bn.

I'm with Dave on running the gravy train into the buffers.

This will have serious consequences for many EU staff who will no longer get a free lunch. An emergency development programme will be required to open many branches of Greggs in Brussels and other EU feeding stations.

The expat allowance of 16% on top of tax-free salaries for non-Belgians will have to go. How can you be an expat when we're all Jock Tamson's Euro bairns?

Retirement age will go up to 68 from the present 63. Euro civil servants will have to get by on pensions capped at 60% of final salary.

At present, European taxpayers bear the costs of sending Eurocrat offspring to private schools. Let's have an end to this unlevel playing field. It is developed Europe we're in. There's bound to be a perfectly good school up the road.

Save money by flying Ryanair. Or don't fly and do business over the phone. Keep calls short to cut bills.

The message to Europe's public servants is live cheaply like most of the rest of us. But not like MEPs, MPs, and MSPs who do not seem to have got the message about austerity.

Like, for instance, Glasgow South MP Tom Harris, who likes iPads so much he bought three on expenses.

As a journalist I used to see expenses claims as a necessary evil in the pursuit of truth, honesty, and decency. I now realise they merely cause division and inequality in society.

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