EU accounts a disgrace

By Tom WiseYOU may have seen last week that, for the 11th year running, the EU Court of Auditors has refused to sign off the accounts for 2004. What, frankly, amazes me is that there is no protest at the massive mismanagement of our money.

By Tom Wise

YOU may have seen last week that, for the 11th year running, the EU Court of Auditors has refused to sign off the accounts for 2004. What, frankly, amazes me is that there is no protest at the massive mismanagement of our money.

We currently pay a net £15 million every day into this political construct. This is about half what we pay in total as some money is returned to projects of which the EU approves.

Are your schools up to standard, are they running short of money? What about your local hospitals? Can you get an appointment with your doctor, at a time to suit you and them? Are you really sure you could not spend some of that £15 million in your area, instead of it going to the EU? If not, perhaps we should address these issues first.


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I suppose I should now be getting used to spin and lies, but it rankles. You must know that there are seven MEPs in the region and yet, we still see claims that this or that MEP is doing something for local groups.

This simply is not possible - it is just grandstanding of the worst kind as it raises hopes for others that cannot be realised. Neither I, nor any combination of the 732 MEPs can access `European money' for any project. Not of course, that it is `European money' at all. It was ours to begin with and our Government continues to send more, every month, despite a legal requirement that they must not do so if it cannot be properly accounted for. So if a group or organisation does get a grant from the EU, remember that an equal payment is also going to some other project, not in the UK.

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I have recently met petitioners, lobbyists and constituents seeking protection from lethal chemicals and others demanding that such proposed legislation does not use animals for testing purposes. I can understand folk wanting to be certain that products they buy are not going to kill them.

Having worked in the retail grocery business for over 30 years, I can honestly claim that I have never yet met a manufacturer who would want to kill his customers using dangerous chemicals. Some folk say they want every chemical tested, irrespective of cost or benefit. Some say they do not want any testing on animals.

I can understand their concerns, but why, I ask, is our government in Westminster doing nothing save abdicating responsibility to an unelected, corrupt bureaucracy? Why did we bother to have an election, only five months ago, if they will not act on our behalf?

You will be aware that once a month - twice in September as August is holiday time - MEPs trudge off to Strasbourg to conduct their business, at an extra cost of some £100 million. The big buzz over there last week was the absence of any representative from the British government during some of the key debates.

The conclusion drawn by hundreds of other MEPs is that the British presidency is a sham. A President in office who says what he thinks his audience want to hear, but, as we in the UK know all too well fails to deliver.

Tom Wise is an East of England Euro MP representing the United Kingdom Independence Party. He can be contacted at thwise@europarl.eu.int

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