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Cutting EU budget would exacerbate austerity– MEP Anderson

1 November, 2012 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Commenting on calls from Westminster for a cut to the EU budget Martina Anderson MEP said:

“Those calling for a reduction in the EU budget should concentrate on the effects of their cut and slash attitude to fiscal matters closer to home. They should realise that bureaucrats target the most vulnerable first in any budget cutbacks.

“Of course there are areas of waste in the EU Budget and they need to be tackled and eradicated. I have previously highlighted the scandalous waste of money spent moving the European Parliament between Brussels and Strasbourg every month.

“Rather than reducing the budget we should be looking at ways to redirect the funds available into infrastructural and job creation programmes. We could start by cutting the outrageous salaries paid to higher-level bureaucrats.

"And let's look at why, for the 16th time, the EUs own auditing body, the European Court of Auditors, has been unable to accept the EUs annual accounts. So let's make sure that the fight against cheating and fraud is a key priority in the coming years and put that money to better use in relieving the austerity measures being imposed across Europe.

“But let’s not listen to those in Westminster calling for reductions to the EU budget that would result in cuts to farm payments, investment in much needed infrastructure, training funds for the unemployed, investment in innovation and the other positive things that are done with a large part of the EU budget. And we all know that these are the things that the bureaucrats will cut first.

“The headline seeking games being played out in Westminster diverts attention from the real issues of what public authorities can and should do to invest EU funding in jobs and growth. The knee-jerk reaction of the DUP in supporting cuts in the EU budget although not unexpected could further hamstring the Executive on top of the Tory cuts being imposed from London government."

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