Frank Field MP
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Being Screwed by the EU

Britain will soon be in an era of unprecedented cuts in public expenditure. Yet one item of expenditure is set to rise - our contribution to the EU.

Figures dug out by Lord Vinson show that today's reports on our rising subsidy to the EU are wide of the mark - awful as the figures were. The Treasury's Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2009 shows net expenditure rising from £5.4bn in 2007-8 to a whacking £7.9bn planned for 2010-11.

By then MPs will be inundated by constituents fighting each cut in the monies going to public services. I have stressed before that this needn't be the outcome. If the public sector had the same productivity as the private sector, everything we buy today could have been procured at £58.4bn less.

The Europhiles will need to be on their mettle to defend a record 46 per cent increase in taxpayers' money going to the EU over a three year period when belts are being tightened all over Britain. But the position is far worse than the near record £8bn contribution. This is a net figure. Britain will receive some of its much larger contribution to the EU back for approved programmes.

Here, a British Government, who has raised the money from British taxpayers, will not be able to direct the money as they think best. Our money will only be forthcoming from Europe providing we spend the money in the way the EU decides.

There are two other news stories that have emerged today which again question the type of organisation to which Britain now finds itself signed up.

One of Mrs Thatcher's Governments took powers to try and regulate video nasties. We now find out that while the British Parliament passed the legislation to control the sales of these items, the British Government didn't tell Europe of its intent.

It is the first time that I, as a legislator, have heard that those areas which are not directly controlled by the EU, are in fact indirectly controlled. The Government is being forced to reintroduce the Thatcher measure and get EU agreement. In the meantime video nasties can be on sale without any restrictions whatsoever.

As if to compound our sorrows, Panorama last night reported on the impact the working time directive will have on the quality of our life and the way we wish to lead that life. Wardens of sheltered accommodation are being phased out as their existing contract is negated by the working time directive.

Panorama reported pensioners unwilling to lie down and take this cut in a standard of living for which they are paying. Worse still will come in a few days when the working time directive will hit hospitals.

Nobody is in favour of people being sweated. But what was the crime of a warden of sheltered accommodation, gaining free accommodation, simply being on call, if they were around, if a resident got into difficulties?

Likewise changes have been necessary in the way we ran junior doctor regimes in hospitals. But come September 1 any of us using hospitals will immediately see the difference in the quality of care for which we have paid.
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Showing comments 1 to 3 of 3

The analogy with the East India Company is interesting. I must think about it
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011
The major problemwith the EU is that just like the East India Company it grew out of a trade based motive - we are now feeling the effects of our mechantile driven Empire colapsing. {collapsed} A merchantile State has never been and can never be Democratic.
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011
Isn't it time we left the anti-democratic EU? You write such sensible comments and yet we all know that nothing will change. Two things are certain the EU monlith will just continue and the British people will continue to be losers as a consequence.
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011

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