Van Bommel urges government to veto EU Multi-Annual Budget

30 June 2011

Van Bommel urges government to veto EU Multi-Annual Budget

The SP is urging the government to reject out of hand the proposal from the European Commission for a major increase to the EU multi-annual budget. Today’s proposal from the European Commission is ‘extremely disappointing,’ in the view of SP Member of Parliament and European affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel. 'The budget is to be increased by 5%, more than the rate of inflation, while member states are being told to tighten their belts. The Commission wants to introduce European taxes, outdated agricultural spending will remain just as high as ever, and nothing is to be done about the way in which member states hand over money only to get it back from EU funds. The Dutch government must exercise its veto.”

Harry van BommelDespite repeated statements from the government, in response to motions from the SP, to the effect that they do not want to see European tax, the Commission is asking for just that in the hope that, by offering in exchange to reduce member states’ contributions, they can persuade countries like the Netherlands to change their position. “The government must not fall for this attempt to buy its support with its own money,” says Van Bommel. “We should not be giving more funds to this wasteful European Union. The government has clearly failed to convey this message. Only by sending a strong message, such as threatening a veto, can they correct this.”

Not every aspect of the Commission’s plans is bad. The proposal for a tax on financial activities can count on the SP’s support, for example, but not as a direct source of income for the EU, as Van Bommel explains. “Banks and the financial markets must help pay for the disaster which they have brought about. It is unacceptable that this tax can only be implemented if the income from it goes directly to the EU. That such a tax would discourage the pursuit of short-term profits is reason in itself to introduce it as quickly as possible.”

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