EU budget increase is unnecessary and unacceptable

26-Oct-2016 @ 15:45

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EU budget increase is unnecessary and unacceptable

Extra spending on areas such as security, agriculture and the migrant crisis can be accommodated without increasing the overall European Union budget, Conservative MEPs insist.

The European Parliament today voted to increase payments next year by €2.45 billion, while raising total commitments by €4.07 billion, and to ask Members States to up their contributions.

The increase is unlikely to be implemented as it requires agreement from the Council of Ministers. However, Conservative Budget spokesman Richard Ashworth MEP says the existing budget is sufficient to cover the additional spending.

He said: "The EU is having to respond to new demands and we understand and support that. However, the Parliament's default reaction is to call for a bigger budget and that is not acceptable.

"Even when money is being spent for the right reasons we have a duty to taxpayers to exercise fiscal discipline, achieve value for money and have clearly stated objectives.

"Thanks in no small part to the efforts of Conservative MEPs we now have greater flexibility in the system to move money between different spending areas and Parliament must get better at using those powers.

"This extra spending can and must be met by reallocating existing resources. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to suggest the Parliament has come to terms with this and is ready to alter its priorities."

In a victory for Conservatives, MEPs supported Mr Ashworth's amendment calling for planning to begin on ending the split site Parliament, a policy which costs up to €204 million a year as staff and politicians travel each month from Brussels to Strasbourg.

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