19 OCT 2010
By Martin Banks | The Parliament
MEPs from all UK parties are being urged to "stand up for British tax payers" and reject parliament's proposals for a nearly six per cent rise in the EU budget for next year.
Parliament's call for a rise in EU spending next year is "outrageous" when member states are tightening their belts, says Britain's Europe minister.
The assembly is expected to approve a rise in the EU budget to €130 billion on Wednesday, the same day the UK parliament will hear of major cuts in British government spending.
"I think the European parliament's demand is outrageous. I do not think it can be in the slightest bit justified," Europe minister David Lidington told Reuters in an interview.
His comments were echoed by UKIP deputy Nigel Farage who said, "With the UK prepared for huge slashes in public spending on Wednesday MEPs will be voting on the EU budget which demands billions more from UK coffers.
"MEPs have an opportunity to send a message to the EU that this budget is an insult to this country."
"Why should we be feathering the nest of well paid commission officials and funding projects abroad when at home we're cutting the defence budget at a time of war?
"And with their eurosceptic posturing it's a chance for David Cameron and William Hague to show if they do have the stomach for defending British interests in Europe or if they will simply roll over and agree to every EU order."
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