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MEPs make unacceptable demands for next long-term EU budget

Thursday, 26th May 2011

MEPs yesterday adopted proposals for the next seven year budget of the EU which are 'wholly unacceptable' and call for a five percent budget increase, said East Midlands MEP Roger Helmer today.

The European Parliament had established a temporary committee (called the SURE committee) to set out its priorities for the next so-called multi annual financial framework (MFF). Although the EU has annual budgets, they are all set within a longer-term seven-year MFF. The commission is expected to come forward with plans for the next MFF (2014-2020) in July.

On Wednesday, the Committee took a position in a vote, which is likely to be endorsed in two weeks by the full parliament. In its report, the SURE committee calls for a five percent budget increase compared to the last seven-year budget, a system of EU direct taxation, a financial transaction tax, abolition of national rebates, and an end to returning unspent EU money to national governments.

Mr Helmer, who has been following the work of the committee, has branded the possibility of a budget increase as completely unacceptable.

He said:

"Once again the European Parliament is making unreasonable demands on taxpayers.

"The next long-term EU budget must reflect the mood of austerity in Europe. So far, we are talking like the spendaholics that brought our economies to the brink in the first place. The EU is telling national governments to pay their debts yet we are asking them to borrow more for Brussels.

"People suffering from cuts at home cannot accept their governments sending more money to the EU.

"The SURE committee was a real opportunity to look in detail at areas where EU spending is effective and areas where it is wasteful, so that the European Parliament can reprioritise the budget and make savings. Unfortunately, the committee has decided to give the European Commission an early Christmas present instead. The committee talked a lot about prioritisation of EU spending but it never materialised."