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Thursday, May 26, 2011

MEPs: always pragmatic, sensible, and firmly in touch with the real world

MEPs on the "Policy Challenges Committee" have agreed on their proposals for the next multi-annual EU budget period, to run from 2014-2020. When it comes to EU budget negotiations, this is the big one - these talks will set the overall "envelope" for each annual budget within the period.

Crucially, every national government has a veto. With negotiations expected to last around 18 months, expect plenty of horse-trading among European capitals, in addition to the various demands of the European Commission and Parliament. The context, remember, is the UK, France, Germany and others' call last year for "restraint" and the EU budget to rise no faster than inflation between 2014 and 2020.

So these looming negotiations are where reform-minded EU politicans and governments have the chance to dig in and get something done - hopefully achieving a far better and prudent deal for taxpayers in these times of austerity.

But, in what has happened too often now to come as a surprise, MEPs seem intent on pushing as many 'hot buttons' as they can. Their proposal includes:

- a 5% increase in funding. This doesn't sound much like "restraint".

- an end to all "rebates, exceptions and correction mechanisms". Yes, that would mean the UK's rebate, worth billions over a seven year period.

- a "system of real own resources". Also known as a new direct EU tax.

- no reform of the EU's wasteful farm subsidy regime nor the practice of recycling "cohesion" money amongst some of the richest countries on the world (also known as the structural funds).

Good to see everyone's starting on the same page then.


Rollo said...

The only way to stop these people spending more and more of our money is to stop giving it to them. They will not understand anything else.

mike turner said...

I take this is written as heavy sarcasm. The problem with the MEP's is that, just like the Eurocrats, they live in their own bubble world, carefully shielded from harsh reality by the deliberately created system. The EP was always meant to be a facade in which to parody democracy.

Idris Francis said...

You had me worried for a moment! But no, your assesement of them turns out to be the same as mine, ever since my defining moment about the EU at the time of Maastricht when I realised that they intended to make working hard a criminal offence.

There are of course a few honourable exceptions who are MEPs only with the intention of getting us out before the last gates of the prison slam shut, but for the most part they are almost as eager to give away our freedom, our democracy and our independence as they are to get their sticky hands on every cash and kind benefit they can find.

I have to hope that with the IMF and ECB finally coming to some sort of sense and refusing to give more money to Greece, the imminent collapse of the euro will lead promptly to the collapse of the EU and the return of MEPs to this coutry where (as stated in my letter in The Times just before the 1994 EP elections, a letter than probably cost Sir Christopher Prout his seat)they will find it more convenient though less lucrative to sign on nearer home.

With any luck the collapse of the EU will mean that their far pensions will be a mirage too.

treehugger said...

I voted no first time round please god get us out of this totaly corrupt nightmare that is the eussr

Alan Scard said...

The sooner we have a referudum on the EU the better. Common Market yes, EU no.

pgthai said...

One day this country will wake up and demand that it's government effects an immediate withdrawl from the EC. It is of no benefit to us and yet consumes enough of our money to solve our economic problems. We don't need the EU , European countries will still trade with us when we are not a member. The EU itself is doomed to failure by it's persistent greed with no benefits forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

Just get us out now!

SnoddersB said...

So why did more people not vote UKIP at the last general election? The reason I suspect is that most, especially Labour voters, are sheep and would not know what is good for themselves let alone the country. The main reason this country is bankrupt, appart from Labour and Brown's spendthrift ways, is th EU rippoff. The time is now for Cameron to take the country out of Europe and stop the rot happening by passing laws that will stop any future government from reentering the EU, should it survive, with out a referendum with 75% majority in favour.