You pay for MEP children's skiing.

THE children of Euro MPs and officials are being sent on a skiing trip with the British taxpayer picking up part of the bill.

The eight-day trip next month, with accommodation at a three-star Alpine hotel, was condemned as"scandalous" last night.

The 80 youngsters aged eight to 17 will spend four hours a day on the ski slopes and will be able to have ski lessons and take part in open-air games and a torchlight procession.

In what is seen as yet another perk of the Euro gravy train, the £820 cost for each child will be heavily subsidised by the Brussels parliament - even though some of their parents earn more than £100,000 a year.

Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, West Yorkshire, said: "This is absolutely scandalous and yet another example of the racket enjoyed by European politicians and bureaucrats.

If they wish their child to enjoy a holiday they should pay for it themselves like every other parent.

They live in a different world. I am sure every family in this country would just love to get a European handout so their children could take a holiday at this time of year, too."

MEPs and European civil servants have already provoked anger by demanding a massive 3.7 per cent recession-busting pay rise in the next few weeks.

Now hard-hit taxpayers will be helping to fund their children's stay in the village of Spiazzi in northern Italy on February 13 and 14.

Critics claim the weekend has been arranged by the parliament's staff committee to allow the children's parents a romantic St Valentine's Day break on their own.

 

The subsidy will come out of the European Parliament's budget, with households getting different levels of funding.

Those earning up to £69,620 a year will have 52 per cent of the cost paid, while those on up to £86,000 receive 45 per cent. Even those on an income of £108,000-plus will enjoy a discount.

There will also be additional 10 per cent discounts for"a second child or subsequent children".

Mats Persson, spokesman for the think-tank Open Europe, said: "How can MEPs claim subsidised holidays for their children when many of their constituents' families are struggling through the recession?"

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party in the European Parliament, said: "Spending a fortune on a skiing jolly like this after the worst economic year in memory will really anger the public.

Surely now is a time of reflection and humility, not a chance to rub the taxpayer's nose in yet another tremendous waste of money."

A European Parliament spokesman refused to comment last night.