Eurocrats are to demand £8 billion in extra national payments to the Brussels budget fuelling government anger at the “incontinence” of European Union spending.
By Bruno Waterfield, Brussels
9:34PM BST 03 Oct 2012
On October 23, the European Commission will request increased contributions from national treasuries to plug a black hole in its budget, a move that could lead to an additional 7.7 per cent increase in the cost of the EU this year.
To meet a shortfall in Brussels funded projects for 2012, British taxpayers will have to find as much as £976 million on top of the £12.7 billion already earmarked this year for payments to the EU from the Treasury.
The increase, which is well over twice the current rate of inflation, will trigger political protests from Britain and other governments, amid growing anger at demands for additional EU funding at the same time as painful cuts to national budgets.
Greg Clark, the financial secretary to the Treasury, attacked the double standard of “fiscal incontinence at the European level” while national budgets are cut and EU officials impose draconian spending restrictions on members of Europe’s single currency.
“When both in the UK and across European countries we’re advocating fiscal responsibility, we can’t possibly exempt EU institutions from that,” he said. “We have got be consistent.”
The fury of national governments will be stoked even further by European Parliament proposals to pile even more on to the cost of the EU bill by voting for an increase in the Brussels budget for 2013 of seven per cent.
MEPs are expected on 26 October to vote for extra spending worth £7 billion in the EU’s budget for 2013 in defiance of national governments.
The combined cost of the commission and parliament’s demands for Britain could total over £1.8 billion at a time when public spending is squeezed by national austerity and economic recession.
Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, contrasted the multi-billion EU spending requests to soaring unemployment and collapsing welfare provision in southern European eurozone countries.
“It must stick in the throat of decent people that while Spanish pensioners have to scavenge through bins, the European elite are trying to vote themselves another billion pound raid on the UK taxpayer cash register to fund their wasteful projects. Cameron must veto these ugly money grabs,” he said