"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Friday, 22 January 2010

What Has Europe Done For Us?

EU President will cost taxpayers over £20m a year. The EU's new full-time President Herman Van Rompuy is due to cost taxpayers nearly £300 million. The total annual cost to EU taxpayers for Mr. Van Rompuy will be £22.5 million, including £2.1 million for security, £2.3 million for equipment, £6.2 million for summits and £5.2 million for 22 staff. In addition, the EU is spending another £252 million building a new facility to house the President's office. His salary is £273,814 a year - meaning he will earn more than US President Barack Obama, who earns £250,000.

Taxpayers pay for skiing holidays for children of MEPs earning £108,000. Taxpayers are to heavily subsidise a February skiing holiday in the Italian Alps for the children of MEPs and European Parliament officials. The holiday costs €920 and is subsidised by the Parliament's budget. Households receive different levels of subsidy depending on their monthly income, but even those on an income of over £108,000 get a discount. An MEP earning £86,000 is eligible for a subsidy of 45 percent.

50% of nurses warn EU's working time rules put patients in danger. A survey of nurses carried out by the Nursing Times has showed that 50% of nurses said patients were being put in danger due to the Working Time Directive's restrictions on junior doctors' hours, compared with 39 percent who said they were not. 71 percent said that additional work had left them with less time to carry out basic nursing duties, while 70 percent said it had led to gaps in medical cover.

Defra study says CAP costs UK consumers £3.2bn. A new 20-year food strategy report from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has found that consumers paid an extra £3.2bn, or £52 each, for food in 2007, because of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy. The Government has said one of its food strategy aims is to reform the CAP.

EU taxpayers fund "slapstick acting workshops". As part of an £800 million EU programme to help people aged 13-30 'feel European', taxpayers are helping to fund basket-weaving and slapstick acting workshops for young people across Europe. The UK Government provides ten percent of the EU's budget, meaning it is likely that around £80 million of the cash used to run the 'Youth In Action' programme will have come from British taxpayers. One project in Finland received thousands to support a coffee house which offered 'everyone the chance to have a sleep for free', aiming to encourage afternoon naps to reduce stress.

Former Le Monde Editor: Lisbon Treaty has made EU more complex rather than more simple. In an article for Spanish newspaper El País, Jean-Marie Colombani, former Editor of Le Monde, criticised the Lisbon Treaty for making the EU more complex, writing: "Put ourselves in the place of European citizens, who were sold the idea that the Lisbon Treaty would simplify things... Now we realise that Europe will be run by a complex mechanism with at least four axes: the president and the European foreign minister; the country holding the rotating presidency; the president of the Commission and his team and finally the national heads of state and government."

The Spanish Deputy Prime Minister María Fernández, whose country holds the rotating EU Presidency, has also said that "The Lisbon Treaty has made the EU decision making process more complex".

H/t: Open Europe


  1. It is also a trough extrordinaire for failed Labour polticos such as the Kinnocks to suck us dry.

  2. GV, one can but repeat the age-old question: Can we leave now, please?

  3. I agree with you both. This is small-fry compared to what will come out - don't forget their 3.7% across the board payrise. Terrible really isn't it - we kick them out of Britain because they're feckless but they end up governing us anyway via the EU :-(


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