Conservatives vote for pay freeze in bid to halt EU budget hike
Posted, October 26, 2011 @ 14:00
Conservative MEPs were today (Wednesday) arguing forcefully for a freeze in the European Union's budget, in acknowledgment of the global economic crisis and austerity measures being implemented by domestic governments across the continent.
Despite the eurozone crisis, the European Parliament is expected to vote today in favour of a 5.23 per cent increase in the EU's spending next year to €133 billion, as well as an extra 3.95 per cent in spending commitments above those set in 2011.
In the debate today, Tory MEPs were arguing for an overall budget freeze tabling a string of amendments to achieve that. There has been insufficient consideration on how to generate savings to fund increases in expenditure in support of the 2020 Strategy for Investment in Innovation, Research and Development. Conservative MEPs also supported calls a freeze in pay for MEPs and top officials.
James Elles, Conservative Budget spokesman in the European Parliament, said: "Conservative MEPs are doing all they can to win value for taxpayers' money in Europe. We know people cannot afford these increases.
"Sadly, there are still many colleagues who are focussing more on increasing expenditure than finding those areas where we can generate savings. As we call for a freeze for the 2012 Budget, any increases must be offset with cuts from other areas of the Budget."