Just cut the EU budget

 

 The UK Parliament voted to cut the EU budget.

 Now I see countries who get more out than they put in saying the budget must be increased to promote growth.

Every pound or Euro they spend has to be taken from taxpayers somewhere. Why are they better at spending it than the people who earned the money in the first place? EU spending does not and is not promoting growth. The EU is in recession.

Indeed, many of the EU’s policies are preventing a proper recovery by EU economies, because they  make countries in the EU less competitive in world markets. The EU prefers unemployment to policies that promote growth – policies like cheap energy.

Just stop the build up of government debt, and let people spend more of their own money.

The UK should dig in against the budget plans.

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115 Comments

  1. Ben Kelly
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Our robust negotiating position should be that we will reduce our net contribution by 2%. Other countries may do what they wish but our payments will be made in ratio to receipts to prevent our EU partners withholding funds. There is no merit in paying benefits to children in Eastern Europe at the same time as increasing our budget contributions to them.

    Evan Davis performed well this morning on this subject with the French Ambassador.

    • Disaffected
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Look at the pictures of ordinary Greek people fighting for food and ask is the EU project worth it full stop.

      The EU project for an EU superstate is causing destitution for millions of people, wrecking businesses, hunger and homelessness. Cameron states he is going to fight to stay in the EU- says everything you need to know about him.

      He demonstrated on gay marriage that he is a dictator without mandate. Even the alleged consultation was manipulated. People from outside the country consulted for their views while he ignored 600,000 people in this country.

      Clegg is going to fight the Eastleigh seat for a mansion tax, he has made 2999 tax increases when does he think the spending cuts should occur? Clegg and Cable want to bash the”rich” how about starting improving standards with their own MPs- something Clegg promises to do? Severance pay running to tens of thousands for Huhne after he resigned for a dishonesty offence? Laws back in cabinet after expense fiddles? There is enough work in his own party before criticising other parts of society.

      • Timaction
        Posted February 7, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Its so obvious to everyone out here that politics/politicians/Westminster are in desperate need of radical reform. The EU, green policies, foreign aid, immigration are all issues in need of urgent national action but all we get is self interest and appeasement. There are NO benefits to the average Joe/Jill for any of the above apart from huge taxes, direct and indirect costs and constant lies for their motives. We have lost faith in the three main parties as they are effectively………… the same, kicking the can down the road to appease the native Brits whilst they are overwhelmed and screwed by the system.
        Please Mr Redwood, remove your leaders and replace them with true patriotic Conservatives.

        • lifelogic
          Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          “replace them with true patriotic Conservatives”

          Would any “true patriotic Conservatives” even want to join a party led by tax, borrow, over regulate and waste, quack green, pro the anti democratic EU David Cameron?

          • Sean O'Hare
            Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

            Or stay in such a party for that matter.

          • Timaction
            Posted February 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

            I just read Arch Bishop Cranmers blog from yesterday and if it is true it is truly sinister stuff of hiding the reasons for gay marriage from the electorate by our leading politicians.
            Mr Redwood are you able to ascertain the truth or otherwise that the gay marriage issue has originated in the EU and would be a directive in due course? It’s alleged the timing of the legislation is all to do with future elections and political advantage?

            http://www.archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk/

            Reply: I have seen the moves by the EU on this matter. It is not yet a requirement on the UK, and I do not think the EU position was the motivation behind Mr Cameron’s proposal.

        • Max Dunbar
          Posted February 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          Mr Redwood must be considering removing himself from the Conservative Party by now. Surely there is only so much that a sensible and intelligent man can take before something snaps. The Gay Marriage nonsense must surely have pushed many hitherto loyal Tories to the limits of their patience with our silly and myopic leadership.

          • Disaffected
            Posted February 8, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

            Of course the EU directive would become enforceable here next year at the time of the European elections. This would kill the Tory vote and anyone believing Cameron’s reasons for wanting gay marriage. Once more, a great deceit by politicians against the public’s wishes.

            JR, is it not a fact the EU directive would be imposed on the UK next year?

            Reply: I cannot verify that claim

      • uanime5
        Posted February 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        How exactly will leaving the EU make the Greeks better off? The last thing they need is more tariffs and a new unstable currency that will rapidly devalue.

  2. stred
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Why not tax EU salaries at the same rate that EU taxpayers pay. Many are so high that the bill would be cut by at least 50%.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Well they want to keep quiet and stop them from rocking the boat, so they stuff their mouths with taxpayers gold.

  3. lifelogic
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    “Why are they better at spending it than the people who earned the money in the first place?”

    Clearly they are not I suspect it is spent about 20% as efficiently after the cost of collection, distribution, corruption, pointless project etc. are taken into account.

    Not to mention the billions wasted by regulations such as the absurd gender insurance rules which will cost billions and cost peoples lives too.

    Tax borrow and waste all cheered on by Cameron both at Westminster and the EU.

  4. liz
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    A lot of countries, probably the majority, are in the EU for manly financial reasons. They will never vote for a reduced EU budget. If we want to reduce our EU financial outgoings we could start by not paying child benefits to non British resident children – bringing us into line with most other EU countries who only pay out for children resident in their own countries.. This would require no negotiations merely an act of will to defy the civil servants who probably gold plated the EU rule in the first place!! I am not holding my breath.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Spot on Liz!

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Indeed a sort of democracy in the EU where one set of nations can always out vote the rest and help themselves to more of other people’s money or just regulate their businesses out of business.

      No real Demos so no democracy is even possible.

    • uanime5
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      The UK also entered the EU for financial reasons, specifically for a trade agreement.

      Was it the Civil Service, a minister, or Parliament who decided to pay child benefit to non-resident children?

  5. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    “Just stop the build up of government debt, and let people spend more of their own money.”

    A thundering good idea. When is the Coalition going to start doing this?

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Not really a Cameron thing to let people spend their own money is it? It might even be considered “morally repugnant” in the government’s view.

      • Bazman
        Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        The point is that they don’t spend it and hide it in places like Monaco spending it on Tory party donations making it as morally repugnant as welfare claimants and the squeezed middle expecting things like food homes and jobs. Can’t really expect any change as the ones opposing any reform are also cheating the state out of money for infrastructure and education to allow the money to be made. Morally repugnant is to put money before people and claim that tax havens are some how rivals to Britains industries and we need to compete with them on tax. Like a satellite over your head lifelogic and that is also morally repugnant too.

        Reply Parties in the UK cannot accept overseas donations

        • Bazman
          Posted February 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          Six Monaco-based Tory donors have boosted the party’s coffers by millions whatever the ‘laws’ without naming any. An Achilles heal for the Tories.

  6. Iain Gill
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    No doubt a majority view in the Conservative party but a minority view in the cabinet

  7. Winston Smith
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Off topic: what is the Government or MPs (that give a fig) doing about the State funded charities who are engaging in blatant political activism? (named charity-ed), for example, seem to be releasing several political press releases a week.

    reply Registered charities should not be indulging in party political activity, and could lose their status if law breaking was proven

    • stred
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Winston. And what about doing something about charities that waste half the money collected on huge salaries for executives and paying chuggers fees for collecting direct debit payments. Last week one came to the doors and started to smooth-talk my bird, telling her she had a lovely smile. She refused the debit but offered a one off contribution of a fiver and he refused it. The charity was the British Red Cross! When grumpy (me) came to the door and asked him whether the Red Cross was now using paid collectors, he turned his back and walked off in a huff.

      • lifelogic
        Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Indeed many charities are highly dubious the tax reliefs need restricting to real charities with low overheads.

        • sm
          Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          Heartening.
          Would that stretch to a general anti avoidance principal as per Michael Meacher? not the figleaf pr spin type narrow rule meant for pretenders.

        • Bazman
          Posted February 7, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          Like the rich who could at their discretion could instead of paying tax do great charity work. This would be much more efficient. Charity trains, motorways, health care. A new way forward.

          • Mike Stallard
            Posted February 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

            NO!
            Why should they pay for me to go free?
            Why?
            If you continue to penalise the people who burst themselves,risk their families and spend 24/7 improving things, guess what?
            They disappear and go somewhere where they are appreciated and encouraged.
            Rich people, in our secular society, are the ones who get rewards for doing what society believes in.

          • Bazman
            Posted February 8, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

            Rich people like bankers? Can’t argue with the idea though. Thousands of the metal trades have gone to Australia and Canada for a better life. Employers have rammed it. To much tax? Don’t make me laugh.

          • Bazman
            Posted February 10, 2013 at 12:13 am | Permalink

            Hello! Still waiting for a reply fantasists.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      come on you can kill hundreds (nhs) or bankrupt the country (banks) and do very well thankyou very much in this country, the chances of any charity being brought to book are none to hardly any

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      reply Registered charities should not be indulging in party political activity, and could lose their status if law breaking was proven

      Yeah right, but in practice?

  8. EJT
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Does the UK have a veto here, or are we bound by some form of majority decision ?

    If the former is true, “just do it”. If not, then we’re ******ed because Ever Closer Union means centralised control of tax’n’spend. Time to invoke Article 50, leave the EU, and negotiate an EFTA style settlement.

    Reply We have a veto on the multi year settlement

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      A veto in the hands of Cameron!

      • zorro
        Posted February 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        like a rapier in the hands of zorro……or maybe not

        zorro

    • Jose
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      The veto is worthless. If Cameron ‘wields’ it then the whole thing falls back on an annual calculation rather than an agreement for 7 years. It’s estimated that the rolling annual calculation will cost us even more money.

      Now I wonder who agreed to this? The contributory countries get screwed by the beneficiaries every time! If they’d had any common sense they would have agreed for contributors to have the right of veto over all financial calculation dictated by the beneficiaries and the Parliament. They’re all in the tax and spend game.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        “Now I wonder who agreed to this?”

        Our MPs did not agree to it for this first occasion, there being in EU law no current MFF and therefore no possibility of extending its ceilings and other provisions for the last year, let alone with adjustments for inflation, and therefore MPs need not feel that they are in any way bound by it.

        As I described at some length last autumn, here:

        http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2012/10/31/the-eu-budget-vote/

        and after some further research here:

        http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2012/11/02/can-a-parliamentary-vote-be-non-binding/

        The second comment ending with:

        “Unless the government’s highly paid lawyers can come up with solid arguments to support the contention that the UK would be under a valid treaty obligation to allow the budget ceilings to be automatically inflated by 2% a year, I don’t see why MPs should have any compunction about refusing to authorise increased payments.”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      We have a veto on the Multiannual Financial Framework but not on the annual budget.

      In retrospect it’s astonishing that over the centuries the Commons gradually wrested control of the purse strings away from the government, and then from the Lords, and yet in 1972 MPs blithely voted to allow foreign governments to impose annual EEC budget payments by a majority vote.

      And to be absolutely clear about this, it was not the wickedness or stupidity of Blair or Brown surrendering a veto, because in this case we never had a veto to surrender; right back to the 1957 Treaty of Rome it has always been qualified majority voting on the annual budget, and the wickedness was that of Heath.

      I don’t know whether there are any other international organisations where the financial contributions of members are decided by a majority vote rather than by unanimous agreement.

  9. John B
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    ‘ Now I see countries who get more out than they put in saying the budget must be increased to promote growth.’

    And is this not why we no longer have workable democracy even at a National level?

    The ability of voters who gain, or think they gain or will gain, more out than they put in, biases the result toward those politicians promising to keep the gravy boat topped up, and against any who want to cut the gravy ration.

    Since democracy can no longer work, what is the alternative?

    Is it time for ‘no representation without taxation’?

  10. Acorn
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Anyone take a bet on getting the seven year budget under €900 billion?

    Anyway, this, if it passes moderation, is for lifelogic; because I know how much he loves wind turbines. And yes the EU wide interconnected electricity grid is a good idea and the UK has got to be in it if we are to survive energy wise. The Euro-grid concept, didn’t actually need the existence of the EU. For intermittent generation sources it is technically essential. http://www.greenwire.ie/ .

    The government / media did a good job of burying the OECD UK report yesterday. Christ it’s grim! You can read it only, in English at http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/oecd-economic-surveys-united-kingdom-2013_eco_surveys-gbr-2013-en . I am sure the text is written by the same bloke who writes the Queens Speech, but there are some very interesting charts and tables in it. ;-)

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Indeed more nonsense for taxpayers money to be wasted on.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      If you have on demand gas/coal/hydro generators and a nuclear base load is certainly far cheaper than the expensive grid and intermittent wind and pv. But if you must have PV then let the Spanish or do it somewhere sunny putting silly little ones, high up on mossy roofs in cloudy UK is just mad.

      Or burn the gas locally and use the waste heat to heat the houses.

      If the electricity is on demand then you just leave the pile of coal until you need to burn it rather than sending electricity all round the EU with significant losses and costs.
      Also all that C02 is good for trees and plant growth anyway.

      Perhaps the grid can make some small economic sense, but the main driver is clearly government, the EU, subsidy and the renewable religion – so it will we an expensive disaster as usual.

      • uanime5
        Posted February 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        The plants and trees already have enough CO2, they don’t need anymore.

        • Timaction
          Posted February 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          CO2 at 0.034% of the Earths atmosphere not very much is it? Still many scientific reports about the intensity of the Sun and its respective cycles over decades and centuries that drive weather and climate change. Lots of evidence of numerous ice ages. Evidence of change in the Earths orbit and tilt. Moving land masses over the millenia. UK’s contribution to CO2 emissions less than 2% of world total, less than the annual increase in China alone. Never mentioned by the “religion”. Still our poor people and elderly will go cold this winter and some will die as a consequence of this green agenda. 10% of our electicity bills now for windmills and solar panels etc. Still hidden from the plebs in their bills!

    • forthurst
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      There’s been an interconnector with France since 1961; the current interconnector supplies a net 5% of UK energy needs, mostly, therefore, from French nuclear, derived from yellowcake from somewhere near Mali where French and British forces are actively fighting against our Syrian allies, al Qaeda, refreshed and rearmed as a consequence of our involvement in bringing democracy to Libya.

  11. Bob
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    These kinds of ideas Mr Redwood will ensure that never get a job in Nick & Dave’s cabinet!

    They prefer like minded people such as Chris Huhne and Ed Davey.

    • Nicol Sinclair
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Ma Bob: “They prefer like minded people such as Chris Huhne and Ed Davey.” Two more who are tilting at windmills… The former is no longer – having been economical with the truth and the latter…well… no comment.

      • lifelogic
        Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        What about Greg Barker, the Energy Minister and his Green Deal 7% HP, double glazing business.

  12. MichaelL
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Or just tell them to follow the example of George Osborne and put pressurse on the ECB to print money. As he has done just recently. Why we only need to look back through history to see where that policy has been such a roaring success … oh hang on…

  13. Steve Cox
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Well, when our Dear Leader believes that we can afford to squander £14 billion a year on Oversea Aid, that our main national social priority is the legalisation of gay marriage, and that spending £34 billion on a railway line that only the rich will be able to afford to use and which won’t even come into service for at least 20 years (read: more likely 25 or even 30 years), I don’t really blame the Eurocrats for assuming that the coffers in Westminster are bulging and overflowing. Perhaps when Messrs Cameron and Osborne start behaving as if there really is a budget crisis, instead of like a pair of spoilt public school boys throwing other people’s money around like confetti, we may get a little more respect from Europe for our desire to cut back EU spending.

  14. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I notice that Mr Cameron is now saying “freeze OR CUT” the EU budget. It is a welcome change of emphasis. We might get enough support – e.g. from Germany – for a freeze.

  15. Leslie Singleton
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    It is typical of the thought (if that’s the word) processes of the EU that there are so many recipients, all of whom will wish to stay in statu quo TVM. If there were one or two recipients that might make at least some sense but as usual what is going on is bananas. Let’s hope that the continual highlighting and repetition of this destination of our taxes, and hopefully ever more publicly, as the possibility of a referendum looms, continues to increase the number in favour of Brexit ASAP. The scales are falling from the eyes of increasingly many who dreamt of a sensible EU and couldn’t possibly have expected what has been foisted on us.

    Never did get a single response on how “they” can stop a Euroeuro market in London along lines of the Eurodollar market. I am calling it the Eurodollar market because that is what it is called because of its origins but many other currencies were and I’m sure are involved. For instance there were once EuroDM’s and I assume there are still for example EuroSwFrcs so I ask again (this is not rhetorical I’d really like to understand what we are being threatened with) how can they stop a Euroeuro?

  16. EJT
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for that.

    This round of agreement for the multi-year settlement is for a budget that will kick in when ?

    Reply starts in 2014

  17. NickW
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Democracy ceases to work when the beneficiaries of Government spending have a greater electoral weight than the tax payers.

    This principle holds just as true of the EU budgetary process as it is in national politics.

    • Derek W
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Your comment is such a universal truth, it will be ignored by the Bullington Brigade.

      • Nicol Sinclair
        Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        BullinGdon???

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Indeed.

      It also breakdown when the media is tax funded (sorry “licence fee” as they dishonestly call it) and very, very, biased with its own agenda and the endless use of envy, fear and emotion over rational logic.

    • uanime5
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      What happens if the majority benefit from Government spending and are taxpayers? Is this a democracy or not?

  18. Colin Hart
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I do hope the Cabinet were awake this morning and heard the French Ambassador to the UK. France will not budge a millimetre in any negotations over the EU budget, let alone any other changes the UK may want. We are wasting our time trying to change the EU to suit ourselves but we will have to go through the motions in order to demonstrate to ourselves why the whole project is a lost cause and fundamentally against our national interest. Not that I trust the current leadership to recognise the facts even when the evidence is staring them in the face.

    • Derek W
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      We Brits have seen so much procrastination and damned lies from our so-called leaders over the last 12 years what may we believe in the future.It is clear that the Labour Party will be the next Government because of the abysmal workings of a group of political enemies conjoined for personal advantage.Our present state of affairs is ambivalent to disgusting.The people must dispair.!!!

    • Nicol Sinclair
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Colin Hart: France (and Germany) never bosom pals of ours.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Why would they move they clearly have Cameron on their side and Miliband to follow soon.

  19. rd
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    JR I seriously advise that you join UKIP now. There will hardly be a Conservative Party after the next election after this Blair clone leadership of Cameron’s.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      I think he will be OK in Woking, he certainly deserves to be, and there will be rather more Tories than UKIPs but not that many I agree.

    • Normandee
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Hysterical, I can imagine his pension advisers response to that suggestion, people in seats as secure as JR’s only talk about action, a bit of ineffectual voting here and there, plenty of whinging and appropriating blame, but give up the golden goose, dream on.

  20. Bryan
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Mr Cameron will return with what appears to be a freeze but which the small print (which the commoners will never see) will allow for budget overspend by seeming to take money from less important spending departments but which, in real life, will not themselves spend less!

    Was it ever so!

    And on another topic, if I were Mr Gove, I would resign!

  21. Mark B
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood MP wrote: ” Now I see countries who get more out than they put in saying the budget must be increased to promote growth.”

    Just think of it as welfare/benefits for Nation States and the EU is the state and the poorer countries are the unemployed, or to give its new slogan, socially inactive. But at least those who are net contributors get to decide on the level of their ‘contribution’ (tax) or whether they wish to refuse altogether, ie veto. Try doing that with the state/HMRC, and see where that gets you.

    • M.A.N
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Disingenuous not to mention treasonous to think that a country like ours can effectively pay for a two tier welfare state. At this rate we will have to consider printing new money to pay for it….oh hang on.

  22. Peter Davies
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Why on earth does the one politician that digs into facts and figures (and I know you do when I have checked out your facts in the past) not have a job in the Treasury – I think their staff on the political side and the civil service side could do with some real guidance.

    I am no economist but I fully get that the EU is one big black hole which never balances its accounts that take x amount and re distribute y amount which is less than x on pet projects which are more than often one off grants sent to regions that will do very little if anything to sort out all our underlying problems.

    As you pointed out before, capital spending is ok if it replaces something or makes what is there more efficient, otherwise it becomes something else to look after so the EU sucking money out of member states and re distributing it is not helpful.

    Personally I would just play hardball and reduce the contributions in line with overall government cuts and that’s it.

    • Derek W
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      John my friend, You may have the Economic Health of the Nation at heart, but for some reason which escapes me and a few other Conservatives of th old moderate school the Party has become a subsidiary of the Liberal Democrats (of no thoughts).Is there some move to re-gain the Party from the socialismus.

  23. Muddyman
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    It is boring to repeat that they have failed to provide signed off accounts for many years!, however they continue to receive a continuous inflow of money without any oversight. We should stop all payments until a confirmed set of accounts is received, this would allow us to determine the amount they actually need.

    • matthu
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      How much import does our government attach to financial probity? Any at all? Why does NO EU country make an issue of this?

  24. Pleb
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    The EU is a forth reich

    • zorro
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Fourth Reich……give it some time

      zorro

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        It’s rarely a good idea to feed trolls.

  25. Derek Emery
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    The problem for the UK is that it sees the EU as an economic union and therefore analyzes and responds based on this error in interpretation.
    The EU is firstly, secondly, and thirdly, a political union. The elite take decisions based purely on politics and not economics. This showed up easily when the UK response to Eurozone formation was to have an economic analysis which showed the problems that are occurring today and therefore didn’t join.

    The UK will never understand EU decision making that ignores economics etc and any other aspect beyond politics.

    • Chris S
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 12:34 am | Permalink

      That’s why we will inevitably have to part company sooner or later.

      There is less chance of reconciling these two positions as there is of Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce getting back together.

    • uanime5
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      If the UK’s response to the Eurozone formation involved an economic analysis which showed there would be problems then why did the UK join the ERM, which was a step to joining the euro?

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    This would be a good time for Cameron to recall that motion passed by MPs on October 31st 2012, Column 346:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm121031/debtext/121031-0004.htm

    “That this House takes note of European Union Documents … relating to the Commission’s proposal on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), 2014–2020 … and so calls on the Government to strengthen its stance so that the next MFF is reduced in real terms.”

  27. Tad Davison
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I recall the Labour Prime Minister of the day, one Harold Wilson, saying, ‘One man’s wage increase, is another man’s price increase’. He was right, and that rationale can also be used where tax is concerned. As John states in his introduction, everything a government spends has to be paid for by someone.

    It is often argued by the pro-EU lobby, that richer countries need to provide funds to under-developed regions, to help grow their economies, and thus create for them, a better standard of living, which might sound good in principle, but it doesn’t seem to be working too well in practise. We in the UK, have been laying out cash for the past 40 years, so how much time do they need to get it working as the EU’s proponents insist it will?

    A simple analogy. If you’re the captain of a ship, and it’s heading towards the rocks, you change course, not sail on regardless.

    Looking at Greece for instance, their economy was backward compared to our own, and needed to be made competitive to give those higher living standards, but the Greek people fell into the trap of electing people who would promise the most, usually socialist by conviction, regardless of the deliverability of their policies. For civil servants to retire at 50, is an unrealistic extravagance by anyone’s measure, but the excesses went unchecked. They lived off borrowed money, and amounts consigned to them via the EU. Proper incentives were never given to encourage industry on a large scale, which would have made them self-sufficient. Instead, like so many other countries, they were merely soaking up other people’s hard-earned cash like a leach draws blood.

    We did them no real favours, and that’s the problem with the whole ethos of the EU, it’s socialist centric, and as history shows on countless occasions, the socialist philosophy doesn’t work, because it takes away incentives. State industries become bloated, stagnant, inefficient, and ultimately loss-making. Taxes are higher, thus removing the incentive to work harder to better oneself and their circumstances, and it eventually collapses (didn’t it Gordon?)

    And the reformation still isn’t part of the EU equation. They still want yet more, so they can spend more, and I can’t understand why we in the UK have any truck with something that has socialist protectionism and the preservation of vested interests at its core, which is such a drain on our own economy. Perversely, were we free of most EU laws and regulations, our economy would do better, and could even contribute more, but why in the hell should we pay for things like French farm subsidies? If they want to keep their farming industry in the dark ages, that’s a matter for them. And that applies across the board.

    There’s only one real solution to this EU madness, and it isn’t merely the re-negotiation of our membership of the EU, it’s a complete withdrawal. The Europhiles say we must remain a member of the EU and change things from within. They have just got to be joking! We need to go it alone, take advantage of expanding world markets, and on the evidence of the past 40 years, that’s the only way to convince the other wasters they were wrong, and we are right. Let them go down the plug! They made their bed, let them lie in it!

    At the end of the day, the other EU countries are not our partners, they’re our competitors.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, but how will we ever get there when the leaders are having their strings pulled by the EU officials.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes “enemies” seems a better word than “competitors”.

      If the government of a foreign country carefully draws up a formal, named plan to damage or destroy an important sector of our economy, and not as a contingency plan to be activated in the very unlikely event of a future armed conflict between us but as a plan which it intends to systematically pursue in peacetime while still pretending to be our friend and ally, then that can only be interpreted as a hostile act and should be treated as such.

      I’m referring to the French plan mentioned here in December 2011:

      http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thecolumnists/2011/12/anthony-browne-france-and-germany-could-have-had-their-treaty-but-they-decided-to-push-for-control-o.html

      “One very senior French financier now based in London once came to me and asked why the British couldn’t see what was happening – it was called Project Spartacus, and it was an attempt, co-ordinated across French government departments, to do down London and make Paris the financial capital of Europe. Because he was French, he spoke about it openly with French officials and ministers, but he said they never speak about it in public because they didn’t want to arouse the British – although President Sarkozy occassionally let slip his ambitions. In the wake of the financial crisis, the French and Germans did in effect take control of regulation of the City away from the British government – there are now 49 different bits of financial services regulation coming from the EU to London, and pretty much all designed to clip the wings of the City. And last night we saw how much it really matters to France.

      Faced with a choice between an EU treaty to save the euro and retaining control of regulation of the City, President Sarkozy decided to retain regulation of the City … “

      • uanime5
        Posted February 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        You’d think the British MEPs would have noticed all this new regulation when they were voting on it and would have informed their party leaders. Odd how only a newspaper noticed what was very obvious.

    • uanime5
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      It is often argued by the pro-EU lobby, that richer countries need to provide funds to under-developed regions, to help grow their economies, and thus create for them, a better standard of living, which might sound good in principle, but it doesn’t seem to be working too well in practise. We in the UK, have been laying out cash for the past 40 years, so how much time do they need to get it working as the EU’s proponents insist it will?

      Firstly EU countries want to improve other EU countries in order to create a new market to sell their products to, not to improve the standard of living. A country even needs a certain standard of living just to join the EU.

      Secondly most of the current net recipients haven’t been in the EU for 40 years (most joined in 2004 or 2007) so it’s no surprise that they haven’t improved that much.

      Proper incentives were never given [by the EU] to encourage industry on a large scale, which would have made them [Greece] self-sufficient.

      The purpose of the EU is to harmonise the legal system of EU countries, not run each country. If Greece failed to improve its industry then this is the fault of the Greeks, not the EU.

      State industries become bloated, stagnant, inefficient, and ultimately loss-making.

      Just like the private sector. For example blockbusters which focused on renting DVDs in a market where you can cheaply buy or legally download them.

      Taxes are higher, thus removing the incentive to work harder to better oneself and their circumstances, and it eventually collapses

      Care to explain why Germany and the Scandinavian countries haven’t collapsed yet. Perhaps it’s because some people are motivated by something other than money.

      • A different Simon
        Posted February 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5 ,

        Blockbusters successfully exploited a gap in the market over an almost a quarter of a century .

        It provided work and income for employees for that quarter of a century .

        All the employment laws in the world won’t make any difference to the unfortunate people who lost their jobs – other than make it more difficult for them to find a new one .

        Many business opportunities are only temporary in nature with a finite lifespan . That doesn’t make them any less worthwhile .

        Whilst is sad to see a well known name disappear , I believe it should be viewed as a success , not a failure .

        How do you view it ?

  28. EJT
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to keep asking questions. But, if there is no agreement ( as the result of a UK veto) what happens ? I would expect (and seem to remember reading somewhere) that there is an EU defined procedure. The future budget is frozen at the existing level ?

  29. Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    John, I agree with your forthright post.

    Yesterday at the so-called European ‘parliament’, we saw the spectacle of the unelected and barely elected squabbling over money taken from people who had little or no say in its confiscation.

    Many ‘MEPs’ and the commission want ‘own resources’. This is a misnomer, of course. They are resources that were once worked for by taxpayers.

    These people have no right to assume ownership of assets they are not entitled to and taken without permission.

    No taxation without representation. No representation from overseas!

    I want my money back.

    • A different Simon
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Very eloquently put .

      Your penultimate sentence sums up exactly how I feel .

  30. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    JR : “Why are they better at spending it than the people who earned the money in the first place? ”
    They are not, nor are MPs in this country or any other for that matter, as many on here keep telling you. Unfortunately, we are inundated with politicians who think that what is ours is theirs and it has got to stop.

  31. uanime5
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Now I see countries who get more out than they put in saying the budget must be increased to promote growth.

    Given that they’ll get more money to invest in their country it’s no surprise that they want the budget raised. Of course once their economy improves they’ll be entitled to less money and will eventually have to contribute to the budget.

    Indeed, many of the EU’s policies are preventing a proper recovery by EU economies, because they make countries in the EU less competitive in world markets.

    Such as higher employee rights than third world countries and not allowing the EU countries to devalue their currency to enable them to borrow cheaply?

    In other news Gove have learned that trying to introduce a change to education that isn’t supported by the people who’ll have to implement this change isn’t a good idea. I suspect the EU objection was just a convenient excuse because it wouldn’t have prevented his eBacc from being introduced, it would have just meant that he couldn’t award all the exams to one company.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9854918/GCSE-reforms-were-a-bridge-too-far-admits-Michael-Gove.html

  32. Barbara
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Mr R, your reasoning about our finances seem reasonable and sensible, why is it you’re not in this government? Surely you have more expeirience than those that do the job now. We have one, who was laid off for his mistakes of taking money he shouldn’t have done; and there he was on the front bench smiling sweetly, I found it astonishing he should be there are all. His comeback assured by his leader. The news is all about another one too. What is going on, why are disgraced people allowed back?
    You may ask what is this to do with Europe, well, just look at them; we all believe they are tarred with the same brush. Dishonesty. I’m of course referring to Mr Cameron’s stance on the European budget. Can we believe he will get a reduction? Is this all talk to pacify the nation? Some how I’m not optimistic about what will come from this meeting in Brussels. I just cannot bring myself to have any confidence what Mr Cameron says. One thing is clear, Germany wants a reduction, perhaps because they are realising the full cost of the EU at last. It all looks a farce on large preportions.

  33. Bazman
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I have got to concede after seeing the Hose of Lords subsidies for food it must be mind boggling what the EU elite gets up to no doubt supported by other elites in the private and public sector and especially the private public sector who see subsidy and scrounging as their God given right and entitlement. What we read about in the papers must be the tip of a very large money soaking iceberg. That is no doubt laughably justified as creating jobs. You would not expect an MP to have to make his own lunch, but if he received a reasonable expense for it and did so, what would be the harm? This is of course not what it’s about. Communism for the rich as ever.

    • A different Simon
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Bazman ,

      Our MP’s seem to be able to make a dogs dinner . Whether they would all be capable of making a human one I’m not so sure .

      I’m not even sure if they all need to eat or bleed when they are cut , look at that Maria Miller , she’s on a completely different planet which is odd as she is one of the few to do a real job in the outside world .

      I like your term “private public sector” .

      Reckon companies have to patronise those city of london law firms , multi-national consultancies , big 5 accountancy firms if they want the doors of Westminster and Whitehall , or townhall to opened .

      So much for a bonfire of quangos too . It’s just a massive benefit where the establishment looks after it’s own .

      I fear you are right about us only seeing the tip of the iceberg .

      I used to think I made decent money and compared to many I do but have become aware over the past 5 years or so that there is a whole sector of people out there that are accustomed to getting a massive free ride .

      If I ever found out how you get membership of that club I’d no doubt be black balled .

  34. RAY ADAMS
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Budget up, budget down . stuff the EU Empire . just get us out . libLabCon will NOT do it . That leaves UKIP . The only Party offering any sort of choice on most subjects that the LibLabCon clique agree on .

  35. dam
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I dont want a single penny going to the EU.
    Thank God there’s one party which wants the same and it isnt the party Mr Redwood belongs to.

  36. Vanessa
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    As they say, we are shackled to a corpse – the EU, and the sooner we cut loose the better. The rest of the world is growing and we would fly once we leave this hideous corrupt and fraud-ridden organisation. It can’t come soon enough.

  37. Normandee
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    let’s see where the Eastleigh candidate stands on Europe and find out where head office stands on europe. You could always go and support the UKIP candidate John, you don’t have to give anything to do that, and it will further your course of getting us out of Europe in a really practical way, for a change.

    Reply: The UKIP candidate’s aim in Eastleigh will presumably be to help the Lib Dems try and win the seat, not an aim I share.

    • Normandee
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Sorry, your reply is confusing, why would a UKIP candidate want a lib dem MP, that would be worse than a europhile conservative. If you mean by taking votes from the conservatives he will let in the lib dems, that’s a chance you have to take UKIP must take positive action, must go for every opportunity, they will never win without trying. Any other party in power with the same acquiescent attitude to Europe is the same bad news for them. Perhaps the sight of a Conservative being beaten to the seat by UKIP spoiling may push your conservative colleagues towards your “long game” attitude

      • sjb
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Normandee wrote: [...] UKIP must take positive action, must go for every opportunity, they will never win without trying.”

        Which is why I find it surprising that Farage will not contest the Eastleigh by-election. He has hardly been off our tv screens in the past week and here is another opportunity to forward UKIP’s case. Furthermore, by not standing there is a risk a less media savvy candidate may harm UKIP’s cause.

  38. alan jutson
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    John

    You sound like Lifelogic with todays post.

    I agree with you, if Cameron agrees to an increase, or even if the budget remains the same, it confirms he has lost the plot completely.

  39. matthu
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    The Department of Energy will apparently announce plans to allow companies to “bid” for up to £1 billion in public funds to carryout large scale energy efficiency projects which would otherwise be uneconomic.

    (The implication being that if the public throws sufficient funds at an uneconomic project it suddenly becomes economic … we only need a few more projects like this and we will have the most burgeoning economy in the West.)

    • A different Simon
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Matthu ,

      It is very difficult to say whether some large scale energy efficiency projects are economic or not .

      Insulating housing stock is worthwhile and provides a positive bang for the buck unlike the vanity projects beloved of politicians like subsidies for solar , feed in tariffs , wind or the worst of the lot , carbon dioxide capture and storage .

      The establishment obsesses about power stations even though more energy is used to heat houses than generate electricity .

      I think we should view it as a positive step if money which would have got misdirected into pointless vanity projects to appease the greens is directed into things like insulation which actually have potential .

  40. RCSz
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    The expanding EU budget underpins a belief system. The belief, and the power that it entails, is impervious to logic and economic commonsense.

  41. pedroelingles
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    I totally agree with you John. It is clear that we cannot afford to await a Referendum in 5 years time. The earlier the better before it becomes impossible to extricate ourselves. pedroelingles.

  42. Chris S
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Trouble is, we lose whatever the outcome.

    If Hollande uses his veto on a deal to cut the proposed budget increase and there is no deal, the end result is last years budget plus inflation !

    This arrangement will stay until a deal is agreed, however long it takes.

    There is one thing that should be a red line for the countries looking to reduce spending :

    Any budget deal acceptable to Hollande should come with the proviso that the nonsense of moving between Brussels and Strasbourg has to stop.

  43. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    After the EU has spent millions on anti-smoking propaganda, there are now proposals to spend millions on subsidising tobacco farmers. You couldn’t make it up.

    • Chris
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Worth looking also at Richard North’s comment with regard to tobacco farmers: http://eureferendum.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/eu-politics-simply-not-true.html
      “…but it is a very far cry from there, to claim, as Malnick and Mendick have done this week, that MEPs have “voted to amend changes in the Common Agricultural Policy”.

      To claim this is simply wrong, but that two weeks running the Sunday Telegraph has published exactly the same erroneous claim tells you a great deal about its journalists, their research capabilities and their concern for the truth.

      What the journalists have done is mistake the procedural role of the European Parliament agricultural committee, where on behalf of the Conference of Presidents, it has approved the tabling of amendments to be considered and voted on by the full Parliament, in plenary session – probably some time in March.

      There is a huge difference between this procedural function and the approval process. The committee itself has no powers to approve or reject amendments tabled. It simply acts as a processing body, to present them to the Plenary for a full vote. It is the full parliament that then approves or otherwise the amendments and, as we pointed out last week, there are still many hurdles before any amendment becomes policy…”.

  44. EJT
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Ah……. Plus inflation, apparently.

    I wonder who sets the inflation formula ?

  45. EJT
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Disaffected.

    I seems that there is a monumental complexity to this story. The UK government “signed up” to a Council of Europe (not EU) declaration during our chairmanship. Plus there is the EU stuff UKIP have just gone public with. Plus there is even a UN document.

    How to make sense of it all ?

    For me, it’s just not possible that other EU national parliments ( notably the French) are doing exactly the think at exactly the same time happens just by co-incidence. So, it has to be supra-nationaly driven. And that’s what matters.

  46. Chris
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Whatever happens in the budget the UK will still have to pay more (this is apparently because of Tony Blair’s agreement to a cut the rebate to the UK in return for CAP reform which never materialised).
    Most importantly the cut, if it is agreed on, will still have to be approved by the European Parliament, which could take time, or approval may never be given.
    Martin Schulz (E Parliament) is thought to be very hostile. He may be joined by other MEPs who do not want to see Cameron take any credit, plus those MEPs who simply do not want a cut in the budget and who will therefore veto it.
    Some sort of budget has to be in place while all the wrangling goes on, and I understand that, if this is for any period of time, the budget will be set at the default budget, which is higher than the proposals on the table at the moment. This may well please many MEPs including Schulz.

    So I fear that Merkel and her allies will allow Cameron the credit for winning a “cut”, but a cut that critically has NOT yet been approved by the European Parliament, so is still only hypothetical. This will give David Cameron some much needed short term kudos with regard to a significant election coming up and with regard to quietening troublesome backbenchers. However, in reality the situation will be messy and much more complex i.e. there is likely to be stalling and vetoing in the European Parliament, and in the end the EU is likely to bumble on with a default budget which will be much more preferable to Schulz and many MEPS of non contributor states – the famous EU compromise. In short it is likely to be a hollow victory for David Cameron.

  47. lojolondon
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    John, this ‘win’ was far too easy.

    My cynicism tells me that the EU has absolutely sworn not to cut the budget, but UK/Germany said ‘we have to show our voters how tough we are’. So here is the real deal :

    Cameron/Merkel come back announcing how they cut the budget. Within weeks the EU will introduce the financial services tax or some other tax totally unopposed because it has already been agreed as part of this deal, and the EU end up with more money not less.

  48. Chris
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Whatever happens in the budget the UK will still have to pay more (this is apparently because of Tony Blair’s agreement to cut the rebate to the UK)
    Most importantly the cut, if it is agreed on, will still have to be approved by the European Parliament, which could take time, or approval may never be given.
    Martin Schulz (E Parliament) is thought to be very hostile. He may be joined by other MEPs who do not want to see Cameron take any credit, plus those MEPs who simply do not want a cut in the budget and who will therefore veto it.
    Some sort of budget has to be in place while all the wrangling goes on, and I understand that, if this is for any period of time, the budget will be set at the default budget, which is higher than the proposals on the table at the moment. This may well please many MEPs including Schulz.

    So I fear that Merkel and her allies will allow Cameron the credit for winning a “cut”, but a cut that critically has NOT yet been approved by the European Parliament, so is still only hypothetical. This will give David Cameron some much needed short term kudos with regard to a significant election coming up and with regard to quietening troublesome backbenchers. However, in reality the situation will be messy and much more complex i.e. there is likely to be stalling and vetoing in the European Parliament, and in the end the EU is likely to bumble on with a default budget which will be much more preferable to Schulz and many MEPS of non contributor states – the famous EU compromise. In short it is likely to be a hollow victory for David Cameron.

  49. Mike Stallard
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I looked up our local MP’s vote on the Gay marriage bill. I now know his views.

    I shall be depending on this excellent blog to tell us all exactly how much Mr Cameron has actually obtained for us after the magnificent triumph of his successful negotiations when he returns after sleepless nights from his colleagues in Brussels.

    It would be even better if he got off the plane waving a small piece of white paper.

  50. Derek Emery
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Even Spiegel has an analysis showing that the pluses of EU membership are between small positive to negative today “In-Out Debate: What Britain Really Gets From EU Membership” at http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/analysis-of-economic-benefits-of-britain-s-eu-membership-a-881813.html
    The EU is far less attractive today because the EU is becoming less important in global terms, the EZ is in crisis, and tariffs no longer play a role due to the WTO.

    In a few decades the EU will have become an economic backwater due to the much higher economic growth in the developing world.

  51. Cynical
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Since as I understand it there has never been an approved audit of the EU accounts why bother with a budget – it is only an estimate as are the EU accounts! They will still spend what they want. What a way to run a serious organization. It is a scandal.

    • sjb
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      For the fifth year in succession, the European Court of Auditors has signed off the EU’s accounts – “every euro spent from the EU budget was duly recorded in the books and properly accounted for.” [1]

      [1] European Commission, Memo titled Annual report of the European Court of Auditors – Frequently Asked Questions, 6 November 2012

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    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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