Monday night’s Dispatches highlighted afresh the scandalous way in which the EU continues to haemorrhage taxpayers’ money. David Cameron has fought to bring down the budget rise to 2.9% (from a proposed 5.9%), but this still means an extra £400 million of UK taxpayers’ money will be going to Brussels next year. Particularly in this time of unprecedented cuts in state spending, we need to get radical in saying no to the EU.
700 MEPs oversee a budget of over £100 billion, and each of the UK’s 72 MEPs is paid around £80,000 per year – £15,00 more than the average MP. While there has rightly been uproar over MPs’ use of public funds, there are few requirements on MEPs to produce receipts for their expenses. Profits made from taking allowances that exceed their expenditure typically give each MEP an extra £7,000 per year, which they may choose to pocket. While they’re taking our money, Dispatches showed our elected representatives clocking in at the European Parliament, and promptly going home again.
We need an end to the EU’s legal superiority over its member countries: it is too expensive, too powerful, and undemocratic. These latest revelations simply serve to emphasise the need for the imposition of fundamental reforms.