The EU binds the chancellor's hands

It is vital, if our country is to prosper, for us to set our own budgets unhindered

by Tim Aker on 20 March 2013 16:22

Here we are again, budget day. This is the day when we hope, in the triumph of fantasy over experience, that we might get to keep some more of our own money.

Instead we read and wince as our lives are made a little harder and a little poorer. But not all of this misery is the result of our Chancellor; in many cases his hands are forced by our membership of the European Union.

The EU’s control reaches far and deep into the administrative structures of Great Britain and it is impossible to make any changes without having to consider the EU’s position on the policy. This means that we are removing some of the most influential economic levers from the Chancellor’s reach in the name of European Union membership.

Listed below are three areas where the EU is defying government attempts to save money and help taxpayers.

- Firstly the UK Government lowered the VAT rate from 20 percent to 5 percent on energy saving materials as part of the ‘Green Deal’.  Due to European Union membership our Government is currently being taken to The European Court of Justice by the EU.  They say a reduced VAT rate is not appropriate to meet ‘green’ ends.  Under EU law, governments have the right to increase VAT as much as they like, but only with the Commission’s approval can you reduce it.

- The EU is doing its best to fight the government’s noble cause of freezing council tax bills. The EU Landfill Directive is crippling Local Authority finances by fining them to the tune of £750 million.  Of course this will be added either to higher bills or contribute to cut services. This is a heavy burden on our local authorities already stretched with cuts.

- Thirdly, the Chancellor today announced cuts of £2.5 billion to departmental budgets and more borrowing. Whether you think such a cut is savage or tame is utterly irrelevant when you consider that we spend near on £20 billion annually for EU membership. What tax cuts might we have received or what spending cuts could have been if we weren’t members of the EU?

These are just three examples of how any budget is affected by interference in Brussels.  There are more.  For instance, ‘Shaky’ bin lorries needed to be replaced under the EU Vibration Directive, to the tune of £22m. 

While we digest the pros and cons of today’s budget we are left to wonder what options did not make it because of the EU, and how much greater the positive aspects of the budget might have been.

We are already hearing that the Chancellor’s cut in Beer tax may be prohibited under EU law for making a distinction between Beer and Wines!

It is vital, if our country is to prosper, for us to set our own budgets unhindered.  A strong budget for the Great British taxpayer can only be achieved if we Get Britain Out of the EU.

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