Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Express Covers The Latest ComRes Poll 10-Nov-2010

The Express Covers The Latest ComRes Poll 



David Cameron is under fire over his promise on the EU budget
Wednesday November 10,2010

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By Alison Little, Deputy Political Editor

DAVID Cameron was forced yesterday to fend off a claim of dishonesty over his pledge to hold down next year’s increase in the EU budget.
A key player in crunch talks starting tomorrow about the 2011 settlement claimed governments demanding a 2.9 per cent limit knew full well more cash would still have to be found.
The accusation came from MEP chief negotiator. Sidonia Jedrzejewska, of the Polish centre-Right.
She said member states ­supporting a 2.9 per cent deal knew extra cash would have to be added during the year to meet existing ­commitments, through “amended budgets” to pay for things such as ­pensions for retired eurocrats.
“It is not an honest proposal. People who wrote the letter know it will be more in the end. They are just postponing payments,” she claimed.
She said “putting a stop” on the EU budget meant capping “ambition” too, adding: “You can’t have more for less.”
A British Government spokesman denied dishonesty, insisting: “The UK is determined to go no higher than 2.9 per cent.
“This is not about postponing payments and we are not privately planning to agree to further increases to the 2011 budget through amending budgets next year. That is wishful thinking on behalf of MEPs. Any future amending of budgets should be about re-prioritising expenditure within these limits, not increasing them.”
His denial came as a new poll underlined the depth of British taxpayers’ anger at the EU’s continuing cost.
And there was cast-iron proof over the poor state of EU finances as ­auditors refused it a clean bill of health for the 16th year running.
The European Court of Auditors said key areas in the £88billion budget were still “materially affected by error”.
Nearly three quarters of people think the £48million a day that Britain sends to Brussels would be better spent here to ease the pain of the coalition’s ­public spending cuts. Some 68 per cent of those polled by ComRes for the EU Referendum Campaign agreed Britain should demand an “immediate reduction in its £17billion a year ­contribution to the EU budget.
This figure “does not take into account the UK rebate which other EU countries want to scrap”. Only 23 per cent thought Britain got good value for money from the EU.
The campaign’s James Pryor said: “This confirms the disconnect between the political elite and real people.”
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