7th November 2012

 

Another year passes and the European Union still can’t get a grip on the way it spends our money. For an astonishing 18 years, the European Court of Auditors has been unable to give the EU a clean bill of financial health. This year the Court has estimated an error rate of 3.9% in the 2011 EU accounts – a rate that is increasing year-on-year.

 

What is all the more remarkable is that the EU is currently demanding more money from national governments. The European Commission is asking for an extra 5% above the rate of inflation in its 7-year budget. The refusal of the Court of Auditors to sign off the EU’s accounts for so many years demonstrates that the EU is incapable of spending the money it already has wisely.

 

Next year, Croatia will become the 28th member of the EU. As such, it will earn the right to a new EU Commissioner position. The EU should use this opportunity to appoint a dedicated Commissioner for Budgetary Control so that the EU can finally get its house in order.

 

Conservative MEPs will never vote to approve the EU’s accounts until such time as a positive statement of assurance is given by the European Court of Auditors. Much like the monthly travelling circus from Brussels to Strasbourg, this annual debacle of the EU accounts must be brought to a halt – and urgently.

 

All over the UK, businesses must keep a watch on their spending and account for every penny. It is a complete farce that the EU is incapable of doing the same.

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