Thursday 21 April 2011

EU Budget mess again

This time it's different.

That is the call from Chancellor George Osborne. The EU may make demands for great rises in its £117 billion budget but no, sir, we are not going to agree to them this year. Except last year, when the same thing happened and a reduced increase was agreed. This is in many ways no different to corporate budgeting processes as I experience them.

Firstly, the FD says no increase, we must reduce costs, then the business units put together mushroom budgets and say we can't do with less, then the Finance department says we need real cuts. Then the business units start downgrading their growth predictions, then the CEO steps in and forces a compromise of modest growth. More or less, this is the same every year bar bad recessionary years and years of huge growth. In years of recession the FD has his way and budgets are cut, staff reduced and the balance sheet preserved.

However, as far as the EU is concerned, this should be a recessionary year, but they do not think so. They are not interested though and think it is fun to laugh at their paymasters, here is what he Commissioner Lewandowski has to say:

Someone is criticising us, I have to say the UK budget is growing this year. Is this austerity?

Last year this was the man who thought it right to question the British CAP rebate and suggest our remaining £3 billion should be scrapped.

So what can be done, well I think the best solution is to really push it this year. We have elections coming up and the Tories could make great popular hay by saying we won;t sign up until the budgets are audited and we won't pay any extra this year. Not only will this be domestically popular but it will draw a line in the sand for next year and help to reduce the EU's appetite for a fight each year. Today too, Merkel and Sarkozy also need popular domestic policies to boost their flagging domestic political situations.

There has never been a better time to actually stand up to the EU; so no doubt, we will bottle it again. This time it's no different.


Old BE said...

Well only the French, Germans and us are actual contributors and the bulk comes from the UK and Germany. Therefore Cam and Os need to make friends quick with their counterparts.

The treaty may or may not say that we have to hand over the cash but if all three say "non" the EU can do precisely sod all about it.

Anonymous said...

Touble is with a lot of cuts as administered in industry (sadly in this country a mere small fraction of what it used to be) it is the low life eg office juniors, apprenticeships, the actual operators working in factories that go, management generally looks after its own until the company finally disappears, individual managers (CEOs etc) are intent on building their own empires, and of course like you say the EU system is very much the same.

Bill Quango MP said...

Newsnight had a nice graphic showing how the EU is really just a redistributive method of moving rich northern Europe's cash to southern and eastern Europe.

I have not seen it put as baldly or as simply as that before. Digital money arrows all flowing south/east.

"That's the EU project" said Paul Mason.

I would have thought that was fertile ground for UKIP to mine.

hovis said...

I an extremely EUroskeptic (lets get out), but as far as I can see the french and germans benefit from membership. Ignoring what they dont like and setting interest rates to suit themselves, whereas we seem to get nothing apart from a miniscule amount of our own money back for EU funded vanity projects.

PS: Cambourne will bottle this especially as they have their new lib-dum friends to suck up to

Budgie said...

No, Cameron won't " bottle" it because he has no intention of doing it in the first place.

The difference between Blair and Cameron is similar to the difference between the unknown unknowns and the known unknowns: Blair had no principles but did not know it; Cameron has no principles but knows he doesn't.

That's all, folks.