One really must take exception to the Financial Times headline on the budget "deal" in the EU parliament announced yesterday. "MEPs win further €2bn for budget deal" it proclaims, as if somehow this was a lottery or some manna from heaven.
For what amounts to expropriation from the unwilling taxpayer, the text of the report is not much better, stating as it does that the EU parliament has "squeezed" an additional €2bn out of member states.
Needless to say, while many of the massively expensive parasites (aka MEPs) hailed this increase as a "victory", some complained that it was not enough, having originally demanded an extra €10bn on top of that already agreed by the member states.
The "agreement" now means that the outline budget for the EU financial period 2007-13 is now €864bn, of which British taxpayers will have to find an extra £208 million. I am sure all those grannies waiting for their hip operations will be delighted. As before, the bulk of the funding has been pencilled in for the traditional areas of expenditure, farm subsidies and regional aid. Some €371bn is earmarked for rural subsidies, accounting for 43 percent of all spending, while €307bn will be spent on regional support, making up 35.5 percent of the total.
Nevertheless, Dalia Grybauskaite, EU budget commissioner, thinks the final outcome has made the spending package "a bit more modern", as if increased public spending can ever be more "modern". But then, I suppose, the spectre of these scum holding their hands out for ever-increasing amounts of our money is one of the dominant themes of this modern age.