Commenting on the draft budget, Senior Liberal Democrat MEP and Vice President of the Budget Committee in the European Parliament, George Lyon said:
“During tough economic times when households budgets are shrinking and people are worried about their jobs it is hard to justify any EU budget increase.
“People expect the European budget to reflect the gravity of the economic situation we face.
“However, this proposed budget increase has nothing to do with increased spending in Brussels. It is the direct result of increased demand for co-financed EU spending by Member States as they scramble to draw down EU funds before the end of this seven year financial planning period.”
Mr Lyon, who is in charge of a new working group set up to find savings in the administrative budget of the European Parliament, added:
“MEPs are determined to find more savings and efficiencies from the EU administrative budget, which is around 6% of the total budget.
“However, if we want to cut the budget back to the level that people across the EU demand then Member States must engage with Parliament to find savings out of the 94% of the budget that is spent directly in the backyards of EU Member States.
“The Budget Committee would like to hear representations from national governments on which roads, bridges and other projects in their own countries they want scrapped or delayed.”