The European Commission needs less money, not more
Apr 2012 30

Ask a council leader or government bureaucrat about the need to cut spending and chances are they will at least acknowledge that money is tight and that budgets have to be reined in. They may sometimes act like money grows on trees but there is at least now a weary acceptance by politicians from all parties that the waste that still persists in much of government must be cut out.

Yet despite the pressing need to cut spending and consensus over tackling wasteful expenditure, there is still one group demanding yet more taxpayers’ money while everyone else tightens their belts. So who, in an age of austerity, would be deluded enough to think they need more money? Step forward the Eurocrats.

The European Commission has proposed its own budget be increased by nearly 7 per cent. No, that’s not a typo, the ever-expanding Brussels bureaucracy thinks British taxpayers should hand over even more money to fund its largesse. This particularly galling proposal is out of touch with reality for two reasons: we are not making necessary spending cuts at home just so the money saved can then be handed over to politicians on the continent; and it is pure folly to hand cash to an organisation that has proven such a poor custodian of taxpayers’ money in the past.

We have previously highlighted many cases of EU largesse – recent examples include the £40 million EU Parliamentarium or the ongoing debate around the £150 million spent on the EU travelling circus. Yet the European Commission demands even more from taxpayers in member states. It is so obsessed with increasing its domain and spending power that it has missed the point; it doesn’t need more, it needs less. For example, the EU could save a fortune if it scrapped its love of private jets for diplomats who spend half their time on holiday, or better yet axe the entire European External Action Service. That would mean less money wasted duplicating the work of nation states who already have well-established embassies. Money would be saved and Europe’s citizens would not find themselves without access to consular representation abroad. You could spend a lifetime writing about the various ways in which the European bureaucracy could save money by slashing its extravagant waste but one thing is clear: they certainly don’t need any more of it.

So in answer to the Commission’s latest proposals for an extraordinary budget rise Europe should answer with one voice: No, non, nien, ni, nessuno όχι, nie, nincs, ingen.

Robert is Campaign Director, responsible for promoting the TPA's work in the media and offering day-to-day reaction to the latest news stories.

  • Rob Moore

    What is it about people who run these organisations that think the solution is always MORE MONEY?!! Surely if all the money there are spending so far is not making things better, the solution is to divert some of the existing spending to activities that DO get results.

  • rob

    This is going to continue until the residents of the UK realise what is going on with Europe. It is supported by our senior ministers of present and past governments because they get and handsome job when they leave office in the UK. We stood on our feet before the EU was created and we can do it again and in a much better fashion that the EU has demonstrated. It really is time for a new party to govern, one which is formed by people who have an interest and a capability of improving the lot for the UK. It will probably be led by businessman who can manage a household budget properly and not by professional, inexperienced politicians.

  • Steven K Palmer

    Clearly there isn’t the will or the capability in our Govt or our European MPs to tackle the never ending wastage, incompetence and corruption in the EU. If a major party were to even start a debate on witholding a proportion of our contribution or even leaving the EU altogether it might well get more support across Europe than one would have seen even a year ago, and galvanise the Eurocrats into action. We need to threaten the unthinkable  to get  change.