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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue Date:- 19 May 2008


2 Conservative MEPs representing Southport in the European Parliament have been condemned by a national newspaper for the use of their expenses.

The News of the World on the 11 May 2008 revealed that David Sumberg had paid his wife more than £95,000 in some years for "secretarial assistance", despite the fact that he has made only 2 speeches in the European Parliament since 2004.  And in circumstances similar to those of the Conway affair in the House of Commons, Sir Robert Atkins was revealed as having paid both his wife and his son more than £2,500 a month EACH!

Now local Liberal Democrat MEP is demanding to know what Tory leader David Cameron is doing to clean up his party's act.

Chris Davies blew the whistle on attempts in the European Parliament to cover up reports into the abuse of expenses. He has led the campaign for wholesale reform and complete openness by all MEPs.  He says the shocking revelations suggest that the Conservative commitment to reform is skin deep.

Chris Davies said:- "This looks like another case of sleaze, sleaze, sleaze, and it is bad for the reputation of everyone in politics. The people of Southport deserve better from their representatives.  MEPs in all parties must set the same standards of financial probity that they would demand of every other public institution in Europe. They must never forget that they are spending taxpayers' money.

I doubt if anyone locally has ever heard of David Sumberg. He lives in London but he is 1 of the 3 Tory representatives for Southport in the European Parliament. The newspaper dubs him
"Britain's laziest MEP", and it is a matter of public record that he has made only 2 speeches in the past 4 years.  He is David Cameron's man in Brussels, and we should be told just exactly what is he doing for the money he gets."

The entire North West region is represented by 9 MEPs:-

3 Conservative, 3 Labour, 1 Liberal Democrat, and 1 UKIP.

Details of the pay and expenses available to MEPs can be found on the website maintained by Chris Davies.

Accident victims risk health to return to work over money fears

ACCIDENT victims are returning to work before they are fully recovered because they are scared taking time off could plunge them into debt.

Rather than concentrating on recuperation, more than half of people injured in an accident will cut short their rehabilitation because they can’t afford to lose wages, according to a survey by National Accident Helpline.

As the cost of essentials like bread, milk and petrol soar, 55% of respondents are so worried they will struggle to make ends meet that they will go back to work early, despite fearing it could damage their health.  Even more – 67%, admit that since their accident their finances have come under increased pressure, exacerbated by the ongoing effects of the credit crunch.

National Accident Helpline Legal Director John Campbell said:- “It is worrying that people are potentially putting their health at risk because they are bearing the brunt of financial pressures for which they aren’t responsible.

We would advise anyone who is the victim of an accident and finds themselves in this position to explore the options open to them.

They could find that they are entitled to some form of compensation, which would ease their financial worries and allow them to concentrate on the most important thing – getting better.”

Sadly for employers, this compensation culture that is now gripping the UK is now having huge knock-on effects, as more businesses are closing at they just can not afford to stay open.  One of the many problems facing small businesses is the costs of insurance premiums.   Also the worry that as the more climes are made against businesses, the more jobs are lost as a result, to pay for the insurance increases.  One of the many ideas suggested is that small businesses are allowed to have better help and cash support to help prevent accidents.  Also another idea the would help, would be to allow a sensible system of blame.   If water is boiling in a kettle, a business should not need to say that the kettle has hot water in it!

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