Taxpayers to fund MEP's cosmetic surgery treatments

7 March 2011

British taxpayers could soon be funding MEP's cosmetic surgery treatments as Brussels makes changes to its expenses rules.

MEPs and their families are now allowed to charge taxpayers for both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures - including massages, facial hair removal and breast augmentation.

The additional treatments will be covered by an increase in medical expense funding for MEPs under the Practical Guide to Reimbursement of Medical Expenses.

2009's budget of £2.2 million will be increased by 36 per cent to £2.9 million.

Each MEP will have an allowance of 21 spa days, but the system has been criticised for providing perks to representatives, rather than essential medical cover.

Nikki Sinclaire, an independent MEP for the West Midlands, was most scathing with her criticism, claiming that the new expenses system was open to abuse.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, she said: "The system in Europe is ripe for abuse and that needs to go."

In the UK, cosmetic surgery is on the rise, despite the expected lasting impact of the recent global economic downturn, according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

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