Value for money and accountability in EU budget

Conservatives vote against MEPs’ proposals to increase EU budget

Conservative MEPs have voted for better value for money in the European Parliament’s vote on the 2009 EU budget, Sir Robert Atkins MEP, said.

National governments propose a budget, which must be ratified by MEPS, but the parliament sought to increase the proposed budget beyond that proposed by the Council. Conservatives voted to shave costs by ending funding for ECOSOC and the Committee of the Regions, and scrapping some of the most profligate budget lines such as tobacco and wine subsidies.

Conservatives also supported an unsuccessful effort to withhold five percent of the budget until certain countries meet the requirements of the court of auditors.

The budget approved today will come under the one percent threshold of Gross National Income, which Conservatives have set as the upper limit of EU spending.

Sir Robert said:

“We approached this budget with three key questions: Are we getting value for money? Does the EU add value in spending this money that national governments could not add themselves? And is there sufficient accountability?

“There is still far too much waste in the budget, and we will continue to delete budget lines that are unjustified. As people across Britain tighten their belts, we think it is imperative to cut the wasteful areas of EU spending.”

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