Date:Thu 23rd September 2010
In a few weeks the Coalition Government will be publishing its spending review which will look at areas of public expenditure and how they can be reduced in order to tackle the huge budget deficit that this country needs to deal with. It certainly will be controversial and painful. Other than health provision and overseas development, all Government departments will be required to cut back on spending and tackle waste in their departments. Local Authorities will also cut back on their expenditure.
It is therefore extremely frustrating that the only form of Government that will not play its part is the European Union. In 2009/10 the will have UK contributed £4.2bn net to the EU. That figure is set to increase in 2010/11 to £7.7bn. For me this flies in the face of all that we are trying to do in order to re-balance the nation’s books. Conservative Politicians are often accused of talking about the EU too much but whether you are a supporter of the EU or not the decision by it to increase spending must be wrong. In these difficult financial times it is quite wrong for the EU to continue to have two locations for its Parliament – one in Brussells and one in Strasbourg. It is time for the EU to impose its own efficiency savings. The irony of this is that the EU has told all member nations that they must tighten their belts when at the same time they are increasing their own spending. It is perhaps time for the EU to practice what it preaches.