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I am sure that we are all grateful for your guidance on that particular matter, Mr. Atkinson.
I return to Open Europes comparison, as it is important here. According to that comparison, based on the respective Parliaments budget allocations, national MPs at Westminster claim £148,297 in allowances each year on average, while our counterparts in Brussels can claim up to £363,000 per annum, which is two and a half times as much. Furthermore, MEPs, in contrast to national MPs, do not have to produce receipts to claim their allowances, although that is changing. Mr. Atkinson, I apologise if this is outside the scope of todays discussion, but I am yet to hear of plans for any Liberal Democrat or UK Independence party MEPs to publish their receipts.
Importantly, the Open Europe study found that 22 UK MEPs retiring this year will receive a share of a £20 million pay-off, in both pensions and benefits. Each will be paid