European national leaders are back to the negotiating table in Brussels today to try and strike a deal on the next seven years of EU spending after initial negotiations broke down in November 2012.
The original budget for 2014-2020 proposed by the EU Commission came in at over one trillion euros, representing an increase of an eye-watering 5%. The latest proposal is shy of that one trillion euro figure, but would still mean an increase in spending by the European Union.
Taxpayers’ money is already being wasted in the EU; in fact the European Court of Auditors has refused to sign off on the EU accounts for eighteen years in a row. At a time when many government departments have made real-terms cuts of more than 30% since 2010-11, it is insulting for the EU to be demanding even more from British taxpayers.
The Commission’s proposals also reek of hypocrisy – the EU is the first to demand that member states make cuts, so it is about time they took their own advice and started getting their own spending under control rather than asking already hard-pressed taxpayers to cough up more cash.
David Cameron cannot back down during these negotiations and must seek a cut in the EU Budget. For him to return to the UK with anything less would be a bitter blow for British taxpayers. People simply won’t be prepared to sit back and accept the Brussels bureaucracy swallowing up even more of their cash.