Cameron wants cuts, freeze in EU budget

Nov. 7, 2012 at 7:59 AM
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AMMAN, Jordan, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday the European Union Commission should cut spending if countries are expected to do the same.

Speaking during a diplomatic trip to Jordan, he said the EU's decision to increase the seven-year budget is "completely ludicrous" and a promise made in a 2010 letter to freeze or cut the budget should be honored, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.

"I believe everyone who signed that letter should stick to that letter," he said. "As I have said, I've always wanted at best a cut, at worst a freeze. I'll be in there fighting for Europe's taxpayers, particularly British taxpayers."

Cameron said he plans to speak to German Chancellor Angela Merkel Wednesday about his position at a dinner in Downing Street.

"I will make very robust and strong arguments about that. I think if you see what's happened in Europe since 2010, deficits and debt levels overall have gotten worse rather than better, so I think the arguments we made then are even more powerful today," he said.

"One of the things that's so notable about the commission proposal [is] not only are they proposing a completely ludicrous $127 billion increase in the European budget but they are also not proposing to make any cuts to the central administrative costs. Every other country in Europe has had to take difficult decisions," Cameron said.

"We cut ministers pay, froze it for a Parliament, reduced the size of the civil service, slashed the number of quangos [quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations], cut billions out of central budgets. We are not doing that in Britain to see the European Union do nothing similar itself."

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