Saturday, May 26, 2007

Free Funerals!

Italians are used to the way in which politicians suck off the teat of the State while alive but this is going too far even for them:

A free funeral is not everyone's idea of a perk but some politicians in northern Italy's Veneto region defended Wednesday the right to expense their final send-off amid a public outcry about freeloading politicians.

Councilors elected to the regional government housed in a palace on Venice's Grand Canal have voted themselves 7,500 euros worth of funeral expenses, on top of generous pay, free lunches, parking, daily expenses and other extras.

"I don't think it's outrageous for Councilors to have their funerals paid for, as recognition for 10 or 15 years of public service," said Veneto regional council president Marino Finozzi of the right-wing Northern League party.

Tackling reports that Councilors voted the perk months ago under cover of night, he said it was "not true we approved it at night because we were ashamed. It just happened to be late."

Pure public choice theory, of course. Politicians do things that benefit politicians.

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