EU budget plan increases burden on struggling taxpayers

Category: News

A call for Member States to contribute an extra €2.44 billion to next year’s EU budget ignores the potential for tapping into private capital, MEPs have heard.

Conservative Development spokesman Nirj Deva MEP told the European Parliament today that the proposal followed the traditional course of seeking more public money instead of looking for innovative ways to ease the burden on taxpayers.

He pointed to his own report earlier this year which strengthened ties between the private sector and support for developing countries, as an example of the way forward. Mobilising private capital might be the only way to keep the EU Development Budget in check.

He said: “Less than six months ago, this House backed my proposals to establish stronger ties between the EU development community and the private sector, legislating a revolution in EU development financing, one not reliant on the age-old EU method of simply spending more of the taxpayers money.

Yet, this budget takes no account of either my report or the stated aspirations of the so-called Junker plan.

Far from encouraging private-public partnerships, we have chosen to repeat the mistakes of the past, demanding steep hikes in spending – a further 2.8 Billion Euros to be borne by an already struggling European taxpayer.

If the Junker plan is to be anything but a fantasy in Mr. Junker’s head, then the Commission must embrace fully the potential of the private-public partnerships on offer; and the financial potential it behests.”

The Parliament will tomorrow vote on proposals to increase spending next year by €2.44 billion to cover extra payments in areas such as migration, security and agriculture, while raising total commitments by €4.07 billion.