Commenting on news that Labour MEPs have voted to increase the budget of the European Union by 6% rather than share the pain of spending cuts, local Liberal Democrat councillor, Ann Holtom, has criticised Labour for failing to live in the real world. Ann has joined West Midlands Euro MP Liz Lynne who has accused Labour MEPs as 'living in cloud cuckoo land" in attacking their spending proposals. Liz Lynne and her Lib Dem colleagues in Europe voted for a budget freeze and against proposals to increase spending. By contrast, Labour MEPs voted against a freeze at 2010 levels and in favour of a £1.5 million increase for trade unions.
Cllr Holtom said: "Thanks to Labour's economic mismanagement , the British people, including my hard-pressed constituents in Tyburn Ward, have to bear deeper and more difficult cuts in public spending in Britain than was expected. We have to pay now to rebalance the books and start repaying Labour's debts. Many other European Union governments have to make similar cuts, so why should the EU budget escape? I fully support the line taken by Liz Lynne and the other Lib Dem MEPS to vote for a standstill budget, to reduce many individual budget lines and against the budget statement as a whole. They are right to want the EU Parliament to set an example and cut its internal budget."
"And what do Labour want to spend our Euro money on? More funding for trade unions, from which they draw political and financial support and amongst other unnecessary schemes, more money for the EU earth observation programme and more money for information centres on EU citizenship."
"It's hard to take Labour's criticism of the Comprehensive Spending Review seriously when they vote for more Euro money for their friends and bankrollers in the trade unions."