Tories condemn MEPs’ attempted cash grab

Conservative MEPs today condemned a move by the European Parliament’s Budget Committee to add billions of extra spending to the EU’s budget for 2016.

The committee voted to overturn a reduction proposed by the EU Council of  the €153.8 billion commitments proposal by €564 million, and the €143.5 billion payments proposal by €1.42 billion.

Conservative budgets spokesman Richard Ashworth said: “British Conservatives see the Council position as pretty sensible, and Commissioner Georgieva as well has come forward with some very welcome proposals involving budgetary discipline, paying down debts and responding to the migration crisis across Europe.

“For the first time in a number of years, the European Commission has put forward a reasonable draft budget, the member states in the council have improved upon that draft by highlighting a number of areas where there is overspending

“However, my colleagues in the European Parliament have not lived up to their commitment to responsible budgeting and their demands for the total size of the budget are unrealistic and unreasonable.

“The European Parliament risks jeopardising funding that will be used to alleviate the migration crisis and are putting lives at risk.

“Fortunately it is really only a negotiating position,  and I predict the Chancellor and his colleagues will be successful in severely pegging back the end result when we get into detailed talks involving national governments.”