Yesterday, the European Commission asked member states for a 4.9% increase in the EU budget. This increase, well above EU inflation at 3%, has already been met with resistance from the UK Government. And so it should be.
At a time when most major EU countries are implementing huge budget cuts it is frankly cheeky of Europe to demand such a huge increase. Clearly the EU has missed the mood of austerity that has swept through its member states and seems to think it can carry on spending us all further into debt.
The claim that the EU has done all it can to reduce spending can only be met with the insistence that it try harder and do more. Ourselves and other member states simply cannot go on limitlessly funding the EU’s inefficiency and corruption.
The increase Europe is asking for would burden Britain with an additional £680 million, bringing our total contributions to over £10 billion. When the whole of the nation is tightening its belts and bowing to the austerity measures necessary to get the country’s finances back on track can we really justify what works out at £400 per household being thrown at the EU? I’m quite sure most people would rather welcome that money to help their families out during these difficult times.
George Osborne is right to assert that the UK is not prepared to accept this increase. The Government should pull out all the stops to halt the EU spending train in its tracks and a tough negotiating stance is needed to ensure that the Europe stops taking advantage of us and other nations. It is high time we demanded a little more respect from Brussels than we are currently afforded.