Europe is experiencing economic doom and gloom. Budgets are being cut left right and centre leaving people struggling to keep their heads above water as their incomes nosedive. Still we are all in it together, aren't we?
No of course we are not. Negotiators from the EU have been getting together in order to set the 2013 EU budget. It was already a known fact that some in the EU were looking to increase this budget. That would mean that the already excessive amounts of money our countries pay into the EU would have to rise. So much for austerity for all.
As October drew to a close Parliament in the UK held a vote on proposed budget increases in the EU. PM Cameron faced a rebellion and lost the vote. Labour and Tory rebels ensured this happened. They sent a clear signal, which most people in the UK would agree with, which was that enough was enough. Now it seems that the UK is not alone in believing that we already pay too much into EU coffers.
If we all have to face budget cuts then surely EU leaders should be leading by example? According to the BBC "The latest talks which have now collapsed were aimed at garnering extra funding for the 2012 EU budget. The EU Commission and European Parliament had asked for a budget rise of 6.8% in 2013. But most governments wanted to limit the rise to just 2.8%."
Surely even 2.8% is too much?
Yesterday Friday November 9, 2012, negotiators crossed swords over "an extra 9bn euros (£7bn; $12bn) in "emergency funding" for 2012, to cover budgets for education, infrastructure and research projects" "In 2012 the budget was 129.1bn euros, a 1.9% increase on 2011."
If the extra funding is not secured some highly worthy, but not necessary, schemes may face the axe. So be it we say. In such tough times when people are being cut to the bone there should not be frivolous spending of our money.
Now the EU negotiators have a limited time to reach an agreement or revise their budget figures. The majority in the UK have already sent a clear message that Brits do not expect to see even a slight increase in the budget. Perhaps the new key phrase should be "austerity for ALL"
You can read more of the fine detail here at the BBC