Conservative MEPs have promised to continue calls for a disciplined and restrained EU budget that provides real added value for taxpayers, despite a majority of MEPs voting today for excessive inflation-busting increases.
The parliament has voted for around €4 billion extra in payments and commitments compared to member states’ own estimates for 2016, however these demands are likely to be reduced when talks with EU governments are concluded.
Conservative MEPs voted against the increase and proposed an alternative motion that sets out a series of ideas for a modernised EU budget, focusing on the urgent priorities facing Europe, without constantly adding to the financial burden on member states.
The alternative budget motion would have seen money spent on measures targeted at increasing economic growth in Europe, providing jobs for hardworking people and responding to the migration crisis.
Budget Spokesman and South East MEP Richard Ashworth, who spear-headed efforts for an alternative budget said : “With limited resources the EU budget needs to be more disciplined to focus on those areas where it can really add value.
“We do have major priorities that we should respond to such as the migration crisis or the difficult period in agriculture, but we need better reprioritisation to deliver them.
“This is not the right time for the European Parliament to go back to governments and ask for more money. Instead, we need to take some tough decisions about our priorities.”
Meanwhile the leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, Ashley Fox, added: “Yet again it is British Conservatives who are leading demands for a budget that focuses on value for money for hardworking taxpayers.
“We will continue to reject these calls by MEPs for excessive and profligate budgetary increases.
“It is time for the European Parliament to take a reality check, and to develop a budget that clearly focuses on jobs, growth and competitiveness, rather than a wish-list of costly pet projects.”