"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."

Thursday, 30 June 2011

The EU Budget

The EC announcement has all the subtlety of a bulldozer - you'd have thought the timing of the budget demands could have been better. It seems rather crass to announce such profligate spending and grandiose plans at a time when Greece is rioting and major European cities are also on the streets protesting. It's just a hallmark of their disregard of the people; they seem to have no intuitive feeling for the man in the street. As long as their beloved plan marches on towards deeper integration they think they're doing a good job and the devil take the hindmost.

I've been trying to pull the threads of the budget together into plain facts and figures but not making a very good job of it. The official press releases are all couched in a language foreign to me - Goebbel de Geuk - and the British msm seems all over the place but here are some of the better explanatory articles:

Additional British contribution of £1.5bn per annum
The Commission's proposed "multi-annual financial framework" will take EU spending to £872.5bn over seven years, an increase of £41.3bn, or 5pc, on budgets for 2007 to 2013.

But the real cost to taxpayers of future EU spending emerges at an even higher figure, up another 3.9pc, or £31.8bn, when EU funding for research, reserves, crisis and "globalisation" funds moved "off balance sheet" are also factored in.

One in twenty EU workers to be 'sacked' over the next 7yrs
Senior EU civil servants can trouser over €16,000 a month while paying just over 5 percent in an internal "tax."

But trade unions note that many junior staff earn just €1,400 or less and work on short-term contracts, with EU jobs becoming less and less appealing to top talent in member states.

Three new taxes: sales, transaction & green plus an end to the rebate. Expect a year of posturing from our nominal government.

More figures from EU Observer
EU spending would rise to €971.52 billion over the seven-year period, with €1,025 billion pledged in commitments...The current two-pillar structure of the CAP will be maintained, with €281.8 billion pencilled in for direct payments to EU farmers (pillar 1), and €89.9 billion for rural development projects (pillar 2).
Dan Hannan ties in the figures with the Greek protests and, once again, asks why we aren't out on the streets.

Only the Mail and the Express are so far running with the story about Letwin, Hilton and "other Cabinet Ministers" advocating pulling out of the EU. There are too many unattributed sources these days. We've heard it all before and until someone with clout stands up and says, unequivocally, that this is a position to rally around, it's just so much hot air and waffle. Another puff piece to keep the sceptical troops onside.

EC's own figures
Barroso on the 'Multiannual Financial Framework'

It will be worth checking out Open Europe later for good in-depth analysis. They're a pro-EU think tank but they're not uncritical and have produced objective analysis over the years - something of a rarity in the pro-EU world.

The Greek Parliament is presently debating the detail of the austerity package and setting out where the axe will fall - the result of this second crucial vote is expected shortly. If it fails to pass the troika's bailout package won't go ahead.

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