The £90,000-a-year parliamentarians are allowed so-called”immunity” made for them to”free exercise her or his mandate”. They are, however, expected to not flout the rules to their”personal privilege”, as stated by the EU Parliament’s web site. But the exact same special status helps MEPs to avoid paying hefty national duties on a whole host of expensive products, normally out of the reach of taxpayers.
In Belgium, agreements mean foreign diplomats that reside in the nation are exempt from taxes on most products and services, including private expenses. The latest figures show that Belgium missed out in promising around £500 million in VAT payments. Wilhelm Gafers is merely one of the companies trying to help fat cat MEPs procure such luxury goodies while they are on duty in the EU Parliament. The firm, founded in 1914, delivered its yearly”duty free catalogue for its diplomatic corps and missions” into MEPs from the hope of drumming up business.
They market”obligation free manufacturers and products in the preferred rates for diplomats, diplomatic missions and the corresponding employees”, and promise workplace delivery within weeks. Wilhelm Gafers’ catalogue is brimming with luxury goods, from top single malt whiskeys to infrequent Cuban cigars. It’s said that a box of 25 Motecristo Dual Edmundo cigars are marketed at £159.09 by the firm in its”winter specials”.
The very same cigars, famed for its”stunning colour and hints of oak and leather”, are usually marketed by UK providers for between £500 and £750. Its also said that Bottles of vintage Dom Perignon rose, for instance, collectable gift box, are offered for £213.67. Punters will normally must pay over £265 for the entire world renowned tipple.
The diplomatic shipping service, however, doesn’t only concentrate its energy on luxury goods, also opting to keep a source of home conveniences. And for people on the hunt for presents for loved ones, cologne, aftershave, sunglasses and watches are available to order.
They stated:”European Parliament providers are unaware of the supply of the mentioned catalogue so it is an unsolicited publication which reached the Parliament in closed nominative envelopes addressed directly to some MEPs.
The wording states “This publication and company isn’t linked nor promoted or distributed by the European Parliament.”
Money quotes taken from express