Friday, November 26, 2010

Taking us for fools - again

The EU Commission has unveiled its new budget proposals - sticking to a 2.9 percent increase as demanded by EU ministers. But the commission has also added a "contingency fund" of up to €3.5 billion to be spent in the event of "unforeseen circumstances" – a sum which does not figure in the slated annual increase.

This means that the headline figure to be approved remains at 2.9 percent above last year, while the actual sum spent by the end of the year will be close (or even above) the six percent increase demanded by MEPs. As an exercise in having it both ways, this is quite creative, as long as we the people don't mind being taken for fools.