September Budget reduced to charade

13 June 2012

September Budget reduced to charade

The European Parliament today voted to approve the so-called ‘European Two-Pack’, the concluding measure of European Economic Governance. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, commenting on the vote, said: ‘If the traditional presentation of the budget on Princes’ Day in September continues to take place, we’ll soon be able to talk only of a ”budget proposal”. Brussels will be able in October to make recommendations and the Dutch government will then be obliged within two weeks to say how they will follow up on these. So the Princes’ Day budget will be reduced to an empty charade.’ The SP voted to reject the package, together with the recently adopted “Six-Pack”, because of the one-sided emphasis it puts on austerity and, for example, the way it fails to provide for a reform of the European Central Bank (ECB) to enable it to take truly effective action to calm financial markets.

The measures included in the Two-Pack miss their goal in other ways, De Jong argues. ‘The European Parliament wants to introduce Euro-bonds. These would put responsibility for the bank rescues in Southern Europe on to the shoulders of ordinary people throughout Europe and all to calm the stock exchanges and the financial markets. A real solution would be to transform the ECB. Instead of combating inflation in the Eurozone, the ECB should be lending out additional money to boost the economy, an approach which is clearly having an effect in the US.'

One of the few points of light in the proposals is, in the SP’s view, the highly critical judgement of the dishonest tax regimes in a number of crisis-hit countries. ‘The last few years have seen taxation in Europe unevenly divided, with major corporations and people with a lot of resources succeeding in making handy use of any and every chance to avoid and evade taxes, while ordinary men and women are forced to pay the bill for the crisis. It’s good that the European Parliament is at last calling for a fairer division of taxes.´

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