Labour MEPs today voted against the EU budget for the years 2014-2020. Glenis Willmott, Leader of the Labour MEPs, said:
“the European Union’s spending must prioritise job creation and growth, it should reform agriculture spending and put a stop to harmful export subsidies.”
“In a time of crisis, when public authorities across the EU are cutting vital services, it seems that for Brussels it’s still business as usual. Why are we still planning to subsidise tobacco farming? Why do we continue to pay for the costly monthly trips to Strasbourg? The priority right now is to cut waste, go for growth and deliver a real term freeze in the Budget. The EU´s must now start a root and branch reform of its agricultural spending (CAP). Action and not words are now needed. It isn’t acceptable that the EU is threatening to abolish the UK rebate, before it has undertaken what we consider to be essential house management. Where Labour MEPs take the lead, we make savings, and maintain services at no extra cost. Labour’s Derek Vaughan is the lead legislator (‘rapporteur’) on the European parliament’s budget for its own spending, and he’s done just that. In real terms, the European parliament will do more for less money.”
In a separate vote, Labour MEPs also voted against the European Commission’s EU budget proposal for next year (2013).