Friday, October 29, 2010

Euro Billions

Cameron is right to resist the European parliament's demand for a 6% hike in European funding. He clearly wanted a freeze or cut, but it seems that is not a possibility.

Some suggest he should refuse to pay but, sadly and especially since the Labour government ratification of the Lisbon treaty, this is not a realistic position to take. We are reduced to fighting for the least worst outcome.

There was an interesting graphic in The Times yesterday illustrating where our money goes in Europe.

It's episodes like this, a funding boost at a time of austerity for member states, that shows just how long over due it is to have a serious look at what the EU is good for and where it should withdraw and leave individual countries to run their own affairs. It would be worth checking how your Euro MEP voted on the budget increase proposal. It's hard to believe the European Parliament's decision to ask for a 6% increase is a democratic reflection of public opinion.

Cameron should be lobbying for future cuts in budgets, especially given our own austerity measures are yet to bite. But, as his government is doing at home, those cuts should be allied with serious reform so public confidence can be restored in the EU and people can start to feel they get value for money.

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