Here is Marta Andresen pointing out in pretty simple language what is going on with the EU budget this year.
What is astonishing in this time of economic difficulties is that the Council of Ministers asked for a 3% rise. The European Commission asked for a 4% rise, but the European Parliament, that circus of rectitude, has asked for and voted for a 10% rise. Which as Marta points out would push the daily cost of the EU up to a staggering £50 million a day.
The author of the report, one László Surján, a so called centre right politician from Hungary overules our doubts.
"He said the €120.5 billion suggested by council was not sufficient and that the figure put forward by parliament offers a "global solution" to all member states to cope with the downturn.
He said, "The budget for 2010 needs to be the answer to solving the economic crisis and to re-launching the European economy. Therefore, more money is needed, while respecting the principal of value for money."
Dare I said he would wouldn't he. After all his country Hungary are net recipients from the EU budget, recieving according to the European Commission figures for 2007, a mere 1.6 billion euros. What it is getting now with the downturn is anybodies guess
I am, yet again reminded of that great old saw of Milton Friedman's,
There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get.
Sort of sums up the Parliament's position.