12th November 2010
I am sure that many of your readers are aware of the ongoing discussions on next year’s European Union budget. The European Parliament wants a 6% increase. Most European governments want to restrict the rise to 2.9%, which I still think is too high.
Both sides are currently deadlocked, with the European Parliament offering to accept the lower increase in return for tax raising powers of their own after 2013. I am delighted to say that Finance Ministers from various governments, including our own, have said a resounding no. I understand that this was said so forcefully that negotiations had to be abandoned.
I am delighted that the British Government has stood up for the British taxpayer. Under no circumstances should tax raising powers be given to Brussels.
What I find interesting though is that if this deadlock continues until December then there will be no budget agreement for 2011. If this occurs then the 2010 budget figures would carry over into next year, effectively freezing the EU Budget.
I must confess, I have my fingers crossed that no agreement is reached. It is high time that the European Union learned some budget restraint. No deal is better than a bad deal.
Ashley Fox MEP