Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Lifting The Lid On The EU's Finances

Even putting fraud and waste aside, it's hard to understand how this approach is sustainable if Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are anything to go by. Public sector largesse eventually seems to generate the need for public bail-outs, especially when local governments borrow to match the free money that's available. No wonder the new UK government has put an end to direct local authority funding through this mechanism.

Certainly all this porkbarrelling has done little for 'cohesion'. A recent poll found that only 42% of Europeans trust the European Union - reflecting a general disenchantment with EU institutions over the past few decades.

The seven year budget cycle and lack of provision for returning unspent funds to donor states also makes the scheme incapable of flexing to meet changing economic circumstances. The fact that a large proportion of this money is lying around simply unclaimed in the current environment is scandalous, and another blow to economic confidence.

It's a travesty that this money was raised in national taxes in the first place, let alone handed over to Brussels on the terms of this scheme.

The EU's budget for this nonsense should be slashed next time around.

Image from Forest's Fine Foods.
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