August 24, 2005

EU fraud, and it's results

One of the common frauds commited by some MEP's is a travel expensies fiddle. All travel costs for flights are reimbursed as if the flight was on a regular route with a national airline. If they choose to go by one of the cheap no frills airlines the cost difference is substantial and goes strait into the pocket, and is completely impossible to find out about as MEP's do not have to submit receipts with there expenses claims. So the EU's recent 'delayed boarding' regulations can be seen as a way of countering this, in a typically EU way, by forcing the cheap airlines out of business with ridiculously large compensation requirements for delayed flights. Such as
a family of five that paid a total of €168 ($204) for their flight but were asking for compensation of €1,980 following a cancellation due to weather. In another case a woman who paid €46 for her flight was asking for €400.
All perfectly acceptable claims under the denied boarding regulations. The result of passengers being able to claim back many times the amount they paid for their ticket if their flights are delayed will inevitably mean that there is going to be more preasure on pilots to take off on time, even if they think there could be problems with their aircraft. Bluemerle in the comments section of the EU Referendum blog found similarities between this an dwhat has happened before:
This is interesting because something similar was happening in British shipping in the 70s and 80s.

My husband, who was master of cargo ships was often ordered to put to sea with the hatches open to save time and money for the ship owners. He refused and was threatened with dismissal.

We all remember what happened to the Herald of Free Enterprise, not quite the same I agree, but no doubt it was done for the same reasons.
Flying irrespective of safety, for fear of exorbitant compensation claims is apparently happening already,
However, the safety issue has re-emerged this week, with The Telegraph reporting that pilots are speaking out about the commercial pressures they are under to fly even when their planes have technical faults.

It has not escaped notice either that there have been three major air crashes this month and while last year was declared the safest in history for air travel, when there were 428 fatalities; already this year more than 550 people have died in commercial flights. In the past month, three fatal crashes - in Venezuela, Greece and Italy - have resulted in 297 deaths.

Now, it seems, Belgian pilots are claiming that the financial pressures placed on pilots to take off, even in planes with minor technical malfunctions, have increased significantly as a result of the EU’s compensation requirements.
So the EU has taken the safest transportation method in the world and through over regulation made it far less safe.


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