Thursday, 23 October 2008


CASH-STRAPPED Britons were tonight handed an extra £1billion tax burden by Europe.MEPs rejected calls for restraint and voted to increase the massive EU budget to a staggering £99 billion for next year, 2009.The £876 million increase is on top of the £10.4 billion Britons already fork out to keep the Brussels gravy train rolling.The hike is £7.65 billion more than the bloc’s 27governments had agreed to and £7 billion more than the ruling European Commission claims it needs.The EU already spends astronomical sums on agricultural subsidies, cash aid for poorer regions and programmes to boost employment and economic growth.All EU governments have said they want to cap on spending.

But MEPs claim they need the extra money for pet projects such turning the EU in a world model on how to combat climate change,And under EU rules the budget cannot be passed without European Parliament approval.However there was growing concern that Europe was wasting money when Britons could least afford.Britain’s Conservative Party opposed the increase but were out voted in the assembly in Strasbourg.Richard Ashworth MEP, the Conservative’s budget spokesman in Europe, said: "We didn’t want the increase and tried to peg it back."We voted against a lot of the issues in the budget but there are only a small number of us out here."

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: "The European Parliament is behaving like a kiddie in a sweetie shop."More money, always more money, and for what? Subsidising the destruction of our fishing stocks. Paying for more and more propaganda.

"It is amazing isn’t it how though Eurocrats never want to listen to the taxpayer when they say ’No’ but they always want to dip into their pockets".

Mark Wallace of the TaxPayers Alliance said: "The government must give a simple answer to this greedy request - no!"British tax payers are struggling to keep their heads above water in the financial crisis and we don’t have any more money to pay in tax."Brussels takes and wastes more than enough of our hard earned money as it is."And even a European Parliament spokesman admitted MEPs often seem greedy.With surprising frankness the spokesman said: "The parliament often asks for more money, but of course MEPs don’t have to raise it, they just spend it."As far as the latest increase is concerned there are still a few more meetings to bash out the final figures."

Newly promoted Europe Minister Caroline Flint was unavailable for comment when contacted .However Treasury a spokesmans said this vote was "merely the beginning" of the procress to reach agreement on the budget.He added: "The 2009 EC Budget will not be agreed until late November"Next month the EU court of auditors is expected to refuse to give the budget a clean bill of health for the 14th year in a row. Mr Ashworth said: "This gnaws away at the EU’s credibility."It makes the EU look like a banana republic.