Whilst the EU teeters on the brink of imploding spectacularly in on itself due to a massive debt problem, those who pull the levers have continued with their plans to increase the EU budget by 6%.
This will take the annual spend by the EU in 2011 to Â£110 billion. The reason given for the rise is to help deal with the recession.
The new UK Chancellor George Osborne, spoke after an EU Finance Minister meeting and said that this was not acceptable. He was joined in his misgivings by representatives from France, Germany and the Netherlands.
These budget increases also allow for an increase of up to Â£15,000 a year in the MEP’s annual staffing allowance. This is already Â£180,000.
As the Daily Mail points out, MEPs get a basic salary of about Â£80,000 p.a. on which they pay 22% tax. But they also get a nice fat 70% gold plated pension scheme in return for 20 years service. Of the soon to be nearly Â£200,000 a year staffing allowance they are allowed to spend 25% of it on ‘service providers’ chosen by them. What many do is set up companies to provide these services to themselves. They also get a Â£43,000 ‘general expenditure allowance’ every year to pay for office costs, but as you would expect from the EU no receipts or proofs of how the money was spent are required.
So while the rest of us tighten belts during the recession, the EU wants to take a little more from us. This is what happens when those that tax you are so far removed from you in both geography and understanding. The EU believe they should have your money so it can be redistributed to worthwhile projects by them. This is a socialist view that Gordon Brown has just lost in the recent UK general election. The money is better off in the pockets of the people to spend and save as they see fit, rather than being diverted into the hands of a disconnected political class and subjected to a bureaucracy cost haircut on the way.