The Chairman of the House of Lords EU Committee, Lord Roper, has written to Justine Greening MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, to express the Committee’s concerns about proposals from the EU Commission to increase cash payments made by the EU in the 2011 budget by 5.8%
The Committee point out that the move is out of step with efforts by Member States across Europe to take difficult decisions to cut public spending and reduce government deficits. They call EU plans to increase pay of staff in Brussels ‘insensitive’ given public sector pay freezes in place in many Member States.
The Committee expresses hope that, rather than increase Member States’ costs, the EU might be in a position to repay money to Member States by the end of 2011 to help with efforts to reduce national budget deficits.
The letter makes clear the Committee’s support for the Government’s position that administrative spending by the European Commission should be frozen and stresses that it is important that EU institutions are seen to be contributing to efforts to develop more cost effective public services both at an EU and national level.