French parliament tightens belt, a bit
THE French parliamentary budget is to be frozen for five years and MPs' expenses are to be cut by 10%, steps that will form a small part of the attempt to fill the €30 billion budget gap.
National Assembly president Claude Bartolone, who is from the Socialist party, said that parliamentarians had to lead by example, with greater transparency and that 'not a euro more' will be spent on the National Assembly's budget.
With €30 billion in savings needed to meet France's requirement to reduce the public deficit to the EU limit of three percent of GDP next year, much belt tightening is set to be announced.
Other steps outlined include the end of first-class train travel for MPs, no more business-class travel for flights under five hours and the parliamentary car fleet will now include hybrids and electric cars.
But there might not be too much sympathy for parliamentary members, as they currently receive €6,412 a month for expenses in addition to a net salary of €5,189.