We can’t afford inflationary increase in EU budget

Last week we learnt that the UK’s national income has dropped by 13% over the past five years. Domestic government departments are having to make savings of a fifth because we can’t carry on borrowing one out of every five pounds we spend.

It therefore beggars belief that Parliament is being asked to promise the EU an inflationary increase in its budget for every year through to 2020 – to exempt the EU entirely from the financial pressures facing families and governments across Europe. We are even asked in the same government motion to praise decisions being taken by “countries across Europe to … stimulate economic growth”.

That is why I and other Conservative colleagues are supporting an amendment to say that there must be at least some constraint on EU spending. Although many of us would wish to see a substantial reduction in EU spending, at least in line with cuts at home, today we are only asking the government to strengthen its stance so that there is some real terms reduction in the EU budget.

Some real terms reduction is surely not an unachievable or excessively radical goal, given the extent to which we and other EU countries are making less palatable cuts at home.

Parliament must also set the negotiating position because any budget settlement will require us to pass primary legislation. That is because the EU is seeking to agree its ‘Multi-annual Financial Framework’ (MFF) for 2014-20.

Unlike the annual EU Budget an MFF requires both unanimity among member states and specific legislative sanction in the UK. If MPs are not willing to sanction inflationary increases through to 2020, then we must make that clear to the government before it signs up to something it would not be able to deliver.

At my last constituency surgery I saw a number of police officers who wanted to speak to me about their terms and conditions and police pay. I was asked to explain why we are freezing their pay, yet we are giving inflationary increases to benefit claimants. Even though I spoke about our wanting to protect the poorest in society, it was not an easy conversation. It is certainly not one I want to repeat defending the EU budget.

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5 thoughts on “We can’t afford inflationary increase in EU budget

  1. Pingback: Cameron’s €uro-Frankenstorm Labour and Tories Throw Halloween Budget Grenade - Guy Fawkes' blog

  2. well Done Mark for bringing this to the fore. The e u masters live on another planet compared to the people who they are supposed to work for. Every single country are experiancing severe hardships, cut backs, what do they want, more money to waste. The pot is empty, all spent, why can’t they tighten thier belts. More’s the point, when is the uk going to tell them, enough is enough, go away, sling your hook. We didn’t ask for this management, nor voted for it, yet they impose thier will with a couldn’t care less attitude. The e u are going to get a sharpe wake up call, sooner or later, our day will come. David Cammeron, you are on shakey ground. Do whats right for the electorate, let them have thier say.

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    Tunisia: €37 million in new EU support for judiciary and health care

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    EU pledges up to €700 million in aid to Egypt

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    New EU-funded project to endorse gender equality in Morocco
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    Morocco-EU: A major highway project for the development of the most remote regions : EU donation of €125 million

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    EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility: record €142.3 million for 15 projects in 2011

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    The European Union is by far the largest donor in Moldova. The European Union has started delivering on its EUR 550 million pledge for assistance to Moldova in the period 2010 – 2013.

    This includes 273 million from the bilateral ENPI envelope. This represents an average of more than 90 million per year, which makes Moldova one of the largest recipients, , and the largest recipient of aid per capita, in the European Neighbourhood

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    European Commission announces extra €150 million for key investment projects in the Neighbourhood

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