European Parliament’s budget proposals should be binned

8 June 2011

European Parliament’s budget proposals should be binned

SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong is unimpressed by the European Parliament’s proposals for the multi-annual budget for 2014-2020. 'The best thing would be to chuck them straight into the waste-paper basket,’ he says.

De Jong’s principal targets during the European Parliament budget debate were the two centre-right political groups, the liberals (ALDE) and the Christian Democrats and conservatives (PPE). “The champions of budgetary austerity in their own countries are the big spenders when they get to Brussels,” he says “At the same time as the Rutte government (of right-wing liberals and Christian democrats) turns its back on the disabled and the sick, their party colleagues in Brussels are positively spendthrift. That’s a scandal.” The SP Euro-MP wants to see an entirely different approach to the European budget and has in recent months made dozens of proposals for improvements. The most important points for the SP are that unnecessary bureaucracy and unwarranted pet projects should be cut, an end should be brought to the practice whereby member states are required to pay money over to Brussels only to see some of it returned in the form of grants, and less ridiculously high salaries for European Union officials and MEPs.”

Lower spending would enable the Dutch contribution to the EU to be greatly reduced. The SP wants to go further than the recently adopted Dutch parliamentary motion forbidding the government from increasing the contribution. “By eliminating several EU income streams and maintaining just one, and that at a lower level based on gross national income, the EU’s income would not only be reduced but simplified,” says De Jong,

The SP’s top five savings:

  1. Address and limit the EU’s funds (could save €62.5bn. p.a.).
    • The structural funds should be limited to two tasks: support for the poorest member states and support for innovative projects of trans-frontier interest (€24.2bn.p.a.).
    • The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) must be greatly slimmed down. As things stand, a third of moneys distributed goes directly to multinationals and more than half-a-billion euros is spent on export subsidies. Farmers on low incomes are given scarcely any aid. Reform of the CAP funds would mean a saving of €38.3bn.p.a.
  2. No money for prestige projects such as Galileo (a one-off saving of €22.2bn.)
  3. Stop the monthly circus of moving the European Parliament from Brussels to Strasbourg (€180mn. p.a.)
  4. Reorganise the EU agencies (amount unknown).
  5. Address the issue of enormous expenses payments, salaries and pensions of EU personnel and MEPs (amount unknown).

You are here