Wednesday, 20 October 2010

A very expensive day in Europe

Today in Strasbourg, I (and my Conservative colleagues) voted for a freeze in the EU budget because it is unacceptable for EU institutions to keep spending more taxpayers´ money when national governments are having to rein back spending at home. We voted to reduce the expenses of MEPs and to reduce the costs of Parliament. We also voted against increasing maternity pay to 20 weeks because I believe that this sort of decision should be taken by national governments not international parliaments (especially given the dire economic times).

Sadly colleagues from other countries and other groups did not agree. The Parliament voted to increase the EU budget by 5.9% (£843 million gross contribution for the UK). The vote on maternity leave was lost by just 7 votes (327 to 320)- this is predicted to add costs of £2.5 billion a year to UK businesses and government.

These are not yet final decisions as national governments will now get their say.
Lets hope some sense prevails.

A small ray of light was that MEPs did agree to at least review the pension arrangements of EU employees... but even that is going to take a while.

Is it any wonder that members of the public feel the EU is increasingly out of touch?


Middleman said...

The brakes on the EU train have failed, it is picking up speed and when it comes off the tracks there will be carnage.

Let's hope that the UK will have jumped off before then.

Michael Heaver said...

We either pay more and more to the EU or we have to leave, its as simple as that. To suppose otherwise is to not recognise the facts and direction of the European Union.

longrun2 said...

It isn't the twenty weeks that is the problem - it is paying the full amount of her salary to someone on £20,000 per week at the expense of those on £20,000 per year.
Are there NO feminists who care enough about social justice to suggest that it is better to give paid maternity leave for 8 months to the poor than full pay for 4.5 months to those who don't need it?

JohnofEnfield said...

Middleman....I thought thetain had already hit the buffers 'cos of what has happened in Greece.

Surely over 100Billion Euros from Germany is the last throw of the dice