Local council expense culture under fire

An investigation by RTL news has found irregularities in expenses claims made by mayors and council executives in over four out of five local authorities.

Even though mayors and officials have expenses allowances to cover costs associated with the job, many are still charging extra for lunches and gifts, the RTL investigation shows.
The mayor of Den Bosch, for example, has submitted claims totalling ovr €10,000 on top of his pay and expense allowance. The entire Den Bosch council management board claimed over €19,000 in additional expenses, RTL said.
The city council said all payments which had been approved were in line with local regulations.
Considerable irregularities were also found in Enschede, The Hague, Amsterdam, Groningen, Breda, Den Helder, Amersfoort, Helmond, Lelystad, Heusden, Rijssen and Holten, RTL said.
In Amsterdam, council executive Lodewijk Asscher has now repaid a number of wrongly-claimed lunches and gifts for new babies, RTL said.
Big city mayors get € 709.37 a month on top of their salaries to pay for entertaining, gifts and other work-related expenses. Council executives get between €263.83 and €612 a month, depending on how many people live in the local authority area.
On Thursday, the Telegraaf published a report about ministers’ expenses claims.

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