Jun 2010 21

Jean-Claude
Trichet, the President of the European Central Bank, is quoted as saying of the
Eurozone crisis that it is "the most difficult situation since the Second
World War, and perhaps the First". Coming from a Frenchman, to suggest the
disastrous state of the Euro might surpass the Fall of France does lend some
drama.

Meanwhile, we
also read through an ingenious piece of research in today’s Telegraph
that the gravy train is alive and well in the EU. Someone has sat down and done
the sums based on known civil service pay bands. “After tax relief and generous
perks are taken into account,” the paper suggests of senior EU officials, “it
is likely that over 2,000 officials are earning more than Mr Cameron.”

Statistically,
that is likely to include around 200 Brits on the EU payroll. In an age of public sector austerity, that is an
obscene figure.

As we ponder the
impact of expected cost-cutting in tomorrow’s Budget statement, we would do
well to consider that taxpayers’ money could be saved not just domestically,
but also via a massive shake up of Brussels. Nor should it ever be taboo to
reflect on changing the terms of our formal relationship with the European
Union. It’s just not value for money, and Britain should not be forever in Brussels’
debt – quite literally.

Lee is a Research Fellow at the TPA. Co-author of the hit Bumper Books of Government Waste, he is an extensively published EU expert and front bench adviser.



  • Hardeep Singh

    Socialism has failed once again. Ultimately that’s what the EU project is and it simply cannot mainttain itself and about time too. There is no substitute for hardwork and open trade, France has played it’s ace card and still the EU project and namely the Euro continues to wobble. However I fear that France will suffer the most as other continental nations are desperately cutting back on state spending France is beset with powerful unions and an ingrained sense of state employment. An explosive condition if ever there was one.

  • Colin Neal

    The time has come for Britain to stop being taken for a ride by the E.U. Just look at the latest scam with the EU regulation of our budget. The EU hasn’t had their accounts signed off by their auditors for decades because of all the “problems”. Yet they think they are qualified to judge others!
    Britain could start by leaving both the CAP and the Common Fisheries regimes. Both hugely expensive to the UK and providing no benefit to this country.

  • Norman Utton

    I fail to understand why this Government are still prepared to pay £20.8million (net) of British taxpayers money to the European Union every single day. When will Cameron, and Clegg have the guts to say NO to this huge drain on our economy? That is around £760 million (net) per year, and of course that is just the tip of the iceberg. The real cost of being in the EU runs to £billions per year. The Government claim that to come out of the EU would cost jobs, and trade, but as the TPA, and others know this is just not true.

  • Margaret Jeffery

    Might be a good idea to start at the top House of Common and Lords. Too many members, with part time jobs, and too many days holiday, plus subsidised food and drink. Would save some money, but make them realise what living in our world is like.
    Plus off course get out of the E.U.