October 6, 2012

WE NEED TO LEAVE THE EU TO STOP IT BLEEDING US DRY

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The EU Commission headquarters in Brussels

The EU Commission headquarters in Brussels
Saturday October 6,2012

By Stephen Pollard

IN JUST over a fortnight the European Commission will formally write to each of the EU’s 27 member states about the EU budget.
Given the state of Europe’s economies – there is nowhere that has been able to escape the need for spending
cuts – you might think that a sensible message to pass to national governments would be that the EU is ready to do its bit and rein in its spending.

Fat chance. What, in fact, the Commission will say is that it wants even more of our money.

Astonishingly (all too predictably) the Eurocrats are demanding almost £1billion extra to plug a hole in this year’s budget.

While everyone else in Europe has been trying to stick to evertighter spending limits, EU officials have been on a spree, going way over the budget agreed last November.



Education, research and foreign exchange programmes have been smothered in cash, irrespective of the agreed
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It has been two or three years since the parliament and the Council cut our proposals
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EU’s budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski
budget.

As pure EU propaganda, not a penny should ever have been spent on any of them let alone the vast fortunes we
are made to fund.

Yet now we have to cough up still more to pay for them. The latest demand comes as no surprise because the underlying philosophy of the EU is that the rest of us exist solely to fund the plans of its elite.

THE commission thinks nothing of billing us for the extra £976million it says it now needs on top of the £12.7billion we are already due to pay for our 2012 contribution.
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That would take our annual payment to Brussels, even counting our rebate, to nearly £14billion – almost £550
for every home in the country.

A spokesman for the EU’s budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski revealed the mindset that is at the root of
these latest demands. He said:

“It has been two or three years since the parliament and the Council cut our proposals. It has been two or three years we’ve been saying, ‘We’re going to have problems.’”

In other words budget cuts were made by national politicians three years ago but the Eurocrats have simply carried
on as before and are now screaming that the money isn’t there to pay for their uncontrolled spending – as if they
alone get to decide how much they spend.

To say that the Commission is out of touch with reality doesn’t come close: it is out of control.

Across Europe cuts of varying degrees of severity are being made – in large part as a consequence of the imposition of the euro, another crazed European scheme.

But at a time when Greeks have to hunt for food in the streets and Spain is on the verge of collapse, the chauffeurdriven, Michelin-star-fed members of the EU elite are demanding that British taxpayers – along with those from the rest of the EU – hand over even more to pay for their out-of-control spending.

But it’s not just the un elected, pampered, contemptuous Eurocrats in the commission who think that the rest of us
exist solely to pay for their federal ideology.

Yesterday the European Parliament’s budget committee voted to sink MEPs’ snouts even deeper into the trough, handing themselves a 6.8 per cent pay rise.

And on October 26, three days after the commission writes to national governments demanding more cash, the full parliament will vote to confirm the proposals for its own budget increase.

Taken together that means we are being asked (I use that word ironically since none of us has ever been asked for our view) for another £1.8billion.

A total of £1.8billion would be bad enough. But this £1.8billion is merely the extra money we are being told to hand over.

And it sticks in the craw.

Because the problem is even worse than how the money is raised. It is how it is spent: much of the budget is siphoned off as a result of fraud.

The latest official figures show that the cost to British taxpayers of unaccounted spending is £233million per
year. And those official figures are almost certainly a drop in the ocean.

EU spending is so riddled with fraud that the Court of Auditors, the body set up to monitor where the money goes,
has refused to sign off the EU’s accounts for the past 17 years.

Last year it said that 90 per cent of the EU’s entire budget was “materially affected” in some way by fraud or by
unaccounted spending.

In 2010 it found that 3.7 per cent of the £100billion-plus EU budget was spent in direct and flagrant contravention of EU rules.

FURTHER digging last year by the auditors (rather than relying on figures from the commission officials who administer the money) showed “quantifiable errors” affecting £9.5billion, with a further £4billion of contracts
being signed without observing procurement rules.

Just think about that. Can you imagine a business that hadn’t had accounts approved for 17 years and where 90 per
cent of its revenue couldn’t properly be accounted for?

The directors would be in prison.

Far from imprisonment, however, the EU’s directors – the commission – get to carry on as before and demand even
more money from us.

It is simply shocking. And it makes the cost of our membership seem even worse.

As one of the few net contributors to this budget we have spent almost £200billion (in 2012 prices) on our EU
membership, that is equivalent to about a quarter of our national debt.

The longer we remain the worse it is going to get.


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