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"EU may waste money of member states” – analyst

Published time: October 22, 2010 18:27
Edited time: October 22, 2010 18:27

The European Parliament has voted for a budget increase that would cost UK taxpayers an additional 900 million pounds next year.

The increase is equivalent to the cost of employing an additional 14,000 National Health Service doctors, 29,000 nurses, 34,000 police constables or 52,000 Army privates, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Despite British Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledging to oppose the increase, thousands have taken to the streets of London to voice their disapproval.

According to Robert Oulds, director of the Bruges Group think tank, the timing for the ruling could not have been worse.

”The timing is astounding, really, as we are making these cuts in Britain to pay off the enormous debt that we have been left. Having to give more money to the EU is just money that the British taxpayer, the British government, cannot afford to give,” he said. “It should not be giving this money to the European Union.”

Sam Bowman, head of research at the Adam Smith Institute in London, told RT why the protests in the UK will not be on the same scale as in France.

It’s not really in the British national character to protest, we haven’t really seen protest at any of these cuts in the last year or so, and in fact the two biggest protests happened over the last ten years were against fox hunting and the Iraq War,” Brown said, adding “neither of which had real affect.

The British government doesn’t really listen to protesters and I don’t expect there will be any protest that we’ll see in the next few weeks. There was a protest the other day held by the unions against these cuts and it had about 500 people which compared to the protest in France is minute so I really don’t think we are going to be seeing anything more,” he said.

Watch the full interview with Sam Bowman

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According to Robert Oulds, the EU does not have a proper system that assesses how money is used which is provided by member states.

”The European Union’s Court of Auditors have not signed off their accounts in over 15 years now because the money member states give to the European Union is not properly accounted for. They do not really know where most of the money goes,” he said. “We suspect that a lot of the money is being wasted.”

Marta Andreasen, a member of the European parliament and former Chief Accountant to the European commission, thinks the EU needs to come down to earth and not try to satisfy their ambitions when some of the member states have been so badly hit by the economic crisis.

“They justify the increase by saying that they acquired new competencies because of the new treaty. Well, people were not consulted, at least in the UK, about the ratification of the Lisbon treaty. And now they are called to pay the price of this ratification… Much of the money is going to finance these new competencies… and we don’t need the parliament to acquire more powers and competencies when it has not done a good job in performing the competencies that it had before,” she said.

Watch the full interview with Marta Andreasen

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Emma Boon from the Tax Payers’ Alliance believes that the IFS reaction which is being picked up widely by the media is slightly misleading.

“It’s not necessarily how much money you are spending but how are you spending that money. Is it being wasted? Is it being spent effectively? And I think that we’ve got to look across welfare, across public services to try to identify where taxpayers’ money is being wasted and so ensure that we can try and keep frontline services that people really care about and that people really need by eliminating that waste and saving money in those areas and saving money from inefficient spending.”

Watch full interview with Emma Boon

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