European Parliament President Martin Schulz should learn the meaning of budgetary discipline and stop forever demanding more, the leader of Britain’s Conservative MEPs said in Strasbourg.
Richard Ashworth said of German Socialist Mr Shulz: “He has an answer to every budgetary difficulty, but sadly it is always the same one – demanding more money from the hard-pressed taxpayer.
“He must start to appreciate that there is more than one way to balance the books. In such tough economic times the right way is to spend less.”
Mr Ashworth was speaking as Mr Schulz was expected to deliver a stubborn ultimatum to Europe’s national leaders at today’s European summit in Brussels. The president has infuriated proponents of budgetary restraint by insisting that national governments immediately pay in full €11.2bn to cover the EU’s unpaid bills from last year – before negotiations can restart to settle the bloc’s long-term budget blueprint up to 2020.
South East MEP Mr Ashworth said: “He is the Oliver Twist of Brussels. Always wanting more, never able to make do with less, a stranger to the idea of budgetary discipline.
“He may be trying to blackmail Europe’s elected leaders by adopting such an aggressive and uncompromising position, but the people he is really holding to ransome are Europe’s taxpayers.
“When tough spending choices are being made across the continent, when police officers, soldiers, carers and labourers are all losing their jobs, nobody can remotely justify handing over more money for the EU to lavish on vanity projects, pork-barrel politics and its own bureaucracy.”