EU budget: MEPs must never be allowed to raise their own taxes

13-Mar-2013 @ 13:0

No items found.

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

The European Union's political elite must forget once and for all the idea of so-called "own-resources" tax-raising powers, Conservative MEPs cautioned today.

The stern warning came as the European Parliament in Strasbourg debated plans for the EU's long-term budget deal - and members of the largest party groupings across the political spectrum continued to demand their own tax-raising powers.

MEPs are expected in the long term to accept the strict spending ceiling won by David Cameron at last month's European summit in Brussels. Nevertheless a majority of MEPs approved a resolution today seeking to modify the deal - and they continued to pursue the right for the EU to tax citizens directly.

Richard Ashworth, leader of Britain's Conservative MEPs and a key UK negotiator on the long-term budget, said: "To go down this road would be to change fundamentally the relationship between the EU and its member states.

"Right now the money which funds the EU's projects and its administration comes from the treasuries of its member states. Those who dream of a European super-sate want it to be able to bypass national Governments and raise its own money through own-resources measures.

"But there is a saying that he who pays the piper calls the tune. So long as the EU's funding comes from its member states it is reasonable for them to expect to call the shots.

"If that ever changed, the roles could be reversed and the whole nature of the EU would be transformed from an organisation run by and for its member states to a relationship in which the EU was the master. That is something which we could never tolerate and which should never be contemplated."

« Back