15 Billion Euros
As usual I watch The Politics Show on BBC 2 each day. It gives me a feel for what is going on and unlike many shows it is fairly neutral, inviting people from all the main parties to debate what is going on that day or that week. It gives a really good debated analysis of Prime Minister’s Question Time each Wednesday, which is always good to keep up to date with. The dry sarcasm of the presenters is amusing but they take to task party representatives from both sides of the Despatch Box. Normally I am half listening and half writing, when my attention was fully engaged to one of the news items. The European Union for the year April 2012 to March 2013 is an estimated 15 billion Euro’s over spent! Not only is this a huge amount of money, but they want member states to fill in this enormous blinking hole, with threats that if member states do not fill it in with extra money, the EU could be bankrupt.
So I sat there wondering why are we only finding out now, 17 days into the new financial year. And then it clicked with the presenter and me. How could an organisation not know it was overspent to the tune of a minimum (as they think it may end up being higher), 15 billion Euros! Simple, they had not factored in the end of year expenses of the staff and the Members of the European Union. Yes each country’s representative in the European Parliament. Yes their blinking expenses for doing such a hard job! But this isn’t all, not by a long way. When the presenters were getting into it with the EU representatives that were set up to release this news, they let slip that Britain’s share of the bill would be over 2 billion, that’s 15% of the bill, yet there are 27 member countries and we have only the 3rd or 4th largest population. When challenged about this they said it was proportional to the expenses being claimed not proportional to the size of the country or its contribution.
So let’s get to the bottom of this, what they are not saying but what they are meaning is that our MEP’s are claiming around 2 billion Euros’ in expenses, each country is being told to pick up their bill for their MEP’s. So there are a number of points I want to explore with regards to this little tangled web of utter nonsense:
- If the EU hadn’t noticed, we are in a recession, asking for yet more money because they accidentally found out they are over spent by a mere 15 billion is somewhat, how shall we say, troublesome;
- We pay each year a membership fee to the EU that is supposed to cover such matters as expenses, so what do they think they are doing coming back for more when they would readily ransack the accounts of people who have had enough sense to save money;
I find wanting to go on stating the obvious insulting to the reader and my own sense of intelligence!
These politicians are at it again, that’s what it boils down to. We pay billions into the EU and do NOT get our money’s worth. We do not pay so that egocentric, narcissistic, personality disordered, fraudulent, money grabbing, scam artists that have wangled their way into what they see as the gravy train can drink plenty from the cup of expenses! Was nothing learnt from the scandal of:
1. Paying for moats to be cleaned
2. Using tax payers’ money to buy and sell on houses for a profit
3. Claim for assistants that don’t exist
4. Flats in London that belong to other MPs or their family
Need one go on to jog the memory of the very recent past?!?!
Did we learn nothing from the blinking prosecutions of MPs for fraud, of which some were sentenced to imprisonment? Do we now have to have the same issues raised about our Members of the European Parliament, do we actually need to investigate yet another potential scandal of misuse of our money by this monster we are tied to as it sinks into bankruptcy!
Want to know why our representatives claim so much? Well there are a few facts you need to understand, for example, the whole set up of the EU creates an expensive bureaucratic gravy train that no private company would tolerate. Here are some facts:
2. In addition, part of Parliament’s administration is located in Luxembourg;
3. In fact Parliament divides its work between no fewer than three cities;
4. Because Strasbourg is Parliament’s official home, 12 plenary sessions lasting one week each are held there;
5. Then other plenary sessions are held in Brussels and Luxembourg, where Parliament’s committee meetings and group meetings also take place;
So the representatives of 27 countries (nearly half a billion people) have set a system up that costs a bloody fortune to ship all the representatives from one site to another. This also means there are at least three huge administration systems at work and of course no one would want to place it all under one roof to save money – hell no! No, because applying cost saving measures to the whole system that any private organisation would do, would mean their lucrative expenses would be curtailed. It was rumoured, although this was not verified, that some MEPs get paid:
1. To travel between each of the business units of the EU and to and from their home;
2. If they declare their home as a business address for their consituency they get it funded;
3. For homes in all three EU cities, which some are said to share with other MEPs so they have several claims for the same place and share the income;
4. For vehicles used on EU business in each location;
5. For having an assistant in each location, three family members in some cases;
And the un verified scams go on, so why on earth would they want to change the system and save money. Give me one year and I would be able to cut the running costs of the EU by 40% to 50%, applying simple business streamlining experience. But what doesnt help is that no one regulates the MEPs, no one checks their expenses or verifies they are true costs, or whether one location is claimed by 4, 5 or even 6 individuals, assistants which are family members, etc. Just give me one year and I would save the EU a fortune, enough to bail out many countries without stealing from its members that diligently save money.
Thatcher warned about getting too close to Europe and warned that it was in danger of becoming a bureaucratic black hole that would swallow up money at a rate that would be near impossible to understand – well we are there. But this over expenditure that they are billing the countries for (on top of what we have already paid) was known long ago, of course it was, it was why the EU wanted to rob the savings of people in Cyprus rather than bail them out as they had done for Spain, Italy, Greece, and so forth. Because they would rather pay their members their expenses than help a member country – it is utterly shameful.
It is now time we left the EU, save ourselves billions and that way we don’t have to pay extra whenever they over spend by the odd BILLION or 15. No business in the world would do this and get away with it. You don’t pay for a product and then have the manufacturer come back to you a year later and ask you to pay some more for the item because they have been crap at keeping within their budget! And of course they knew it was coming, it wasn’t much of a surprise, they knew the end of year expenses were coming in – IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR YOU UTTER FOOLS! Whoever the administrators are, they could not organise a farting competition after a Bake Bean eating marathon!
The whole sorry mess pickles my dill and gherkins it really does. Time to exit the EU before the whole sorry lot implodes and takes every one of the 27 with it!
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