De Jong: Increase in EU budget totally unrealistic

4 October 2012

De Jong: Increase in EU budget totally unrealistic

The European Parliament (EP) Budget Committee today proposed an increase of at least 6.8% - almost 7 cents in the euro. Describing the proposed sum as ‘totally unrealistic, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said, ’This is the umpteenth example of the Parliament’s “ivory tower” behaviour. While member states are often forced to take the most extreme austerity measures, the idea the EU budget must, on the contrary, rise is here alive and well. For ordinary people in the Netherlands, who are themselves confronted by the consequences of the spending cuts, this is extraordinarily frustrating.'

Dennis de JongDe Jong had, on behalf of the Parliament’s Internal Market Committee, himself presented a number of proposals for some €1.5 million in cuts to the research budget. The Budget Committee, however, refused to do more than put this money into the reserve. ‘Originally the Committee could give absolutely no explanation as to where this money would be spent,’ explains De Jong. ‘Then when it emerged that we weren’t happy with this, they produced at the last moment a list of possible studies that wasn’t properly backed up. That is of course no basis for a healthy budgetary policy. I find the actions of the Budget Committee in rejecting even such a small reduction a good example of how irresponsibly the EP conducts itself in relation to taxpayers’ money.'

The definitive vote on the 2013 budget is yet to take place at the plenary meeting later this month. The SP will be attempting, by means of a number of targeted amendments, to undo the increase to the budget or at least, on as many points as possible, to limit it. ‘Experience shows that this sort of proposal hasn’t got much chance of winning majority support,’ admits De Jong, adding that he ‘will at least be able to demonstrate that not all MEPs live in an ivory tower.’

You are here