UK Liberal Democrat MEP and Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Budget Committee George Lyon today warned the EU Commission that ‘all spending is not created equal’ after it was confirmed that officials in Brussels plan to slash funding in research and development in 2014, while demanding a hike in administrative spending.
Speaking after the publication of the EU Commission Draft Budget for 2014, Mr Lyon welcomed the overall 5.8% cut to the budget but called on officials to think again on their plans to boost spending on bureaucracy and instead prioritise investment in areas that will support job creation.
Commenting, Mr Lyon said:
“Everyone knows that when it comes to EU spending, all things are not created equal. Liberal Democrats have been clear that the Commission must show restraint and needs to prioritise spending in areas that will help create jobs and boost economic growth. This is something that it seems that the Commission have ignored and there are still big questions over some elements of this draft budget.
“The fact that the Commission want to increase spending on bureaucracy but cut essential research and development budgets suggests that they need a serious reality check.
“The Commission needs to explain how such an increase in administrative costs can possibly be justified in the context of these cuts. Additional bureaucracy will not deliver for Europe and the Commission need to look hard at these plans to see what further savings can be made.
“We need a new emphasis on investment in research and development. This is an area where prioritised spending can have real, tangible benefits for the UK and help us build a stronger European economy.”