'Grotesque' spending on EU unjustified

ONE of the most common responses I receive when talking to people about the EU is “but it doesn't really affect me”. Well, of course it does affect most people in a myriad of ways they may not necessarily realise.

ONE of the most common responses I receive when talking to people about the EU is “but it doesn't really affect me”. Well, of course it does affect most people in a myriad of ways they may not necessarily realise.

One major factor is the huge overall cost of Britain's membership. A recent study by the Bruges Group puts the full annual cost in 2007 including our membership fees, all the payments we make to the EU's institutions, the cost of the common agriculture and fisheries policies, as well as the huge expense of implementing European legislation at £52.4 billion.

This is a staggering sum, and it is even more grotesque when you look at all the problems we have in this country that would benefit so much from more investment. For example, the Government has given nurses in the NHS a derisory pay increase of 1.9%. The Government has tried to make it look better by calling it 2.5 per cent but the catch is that it will be in two stages paid in April and October. This works out at 1.9 per cent over the year.

With inflation running at 2.7% (February figures), this actually represents quite a significant pay cut for the nurses. I find this totally unacceptable and a major snub to one of our most important professions. The Government will doubtless plead that there is no more money available and that it has to act sensibly with the public purse.


You may also want to watch:


Well, that purse has a big hole in it, out of which vast funds are pouring into the bottomless pit of the EU, an organisation whose accounts have not been approved by its auditors for 12 years in succession. Where would you rather see your money going? Propping up the elephantine EU with its bloated bureaucrats, who can't even be bothered to run a professional accounting system or would you prefer to give our hard pressed and hard working nurses a pay increase worthy of their efforts?

However, it isn't just about nurses' pay. What about pensioners? When did they last get a meaningful increase? Why are we allowing our own infrastructure in this country to steadily break down, while we go on investing, through our contributions to the EU, to the infrastructure in Poland and other Eastern European countries?

Most Read

Sooner or later, some hard questions will have to be asked, like where do our priorities lie? Why should we pay for two Governments? - the increasingly bypassed and ineffective one at Westminster and the one in Brussels, which now generates around 70 per cent of new legislation in this country. Incidentally, despite having to do less of the legislative work, MPs in Westminster are lobbying for a 66% pay increase, to bring them into line with GPs and civil servants, they say. The nurses are getting an insulting 1.9%. If MPs want this vast increase they have to start doing the job properly, ie start running the country again.

For further information about Jeffrey Titford, go to www.jeffreytitfordmep.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus