The Times reports:
THEY are renowned for never knowingly missing a perk. Now MEPs have decided that, financial crisis or not, they will snaffle a taxpayer-funded Apple iPad for every member once the latest computer must-have is launched on the European market.The iPads themselves will represent a small proportion of the £4.3 million sum, which is itself trivial compared to our deficit black hole and our debt mountain, but all these projects add up, and the overall cost of our EU membership runs to tens of billions.
The European parliament’s bureau, its administrative office, has earmarked £4.3m for an “IT mobility project”.
Bad as the financial crisis may be, the bureau has decided that all 736 MEPs need to become more “connected” and that the iPad, a portable tablet computer, is just the device to enable them to do more on the move.
Although MEPs have recently been equipped with new Hewlett-Packard laptops, some have told the bureau they find them cumbersome in comparison with the iPad.
The significance of this story, though, is that MEPs in their Brussels bubble have no taste for the austerity that hundreds of millions of Europeans will face in the coming years. While politicians are making symbolic sacrifices in the UK, by restricting first class rail travel, it's business as usual for the Eurocrats.