Never mind the arguments in favour of such an approach (after all, it could well help to increase transparancy and leave less budget flexibility for the notoriously weak EU accountants to "misplace" dosh with, plus would make it clear to each EU citizen precisely how little the EU actually costs them while getting rid of the constant disputes over who should pay what, rebates and the like)...
You see, NM is in favour of the EU as principle, but fails to acknowledge that the EU in this model will never embrace "transparency", as EU Serf so rightly pointed out in response to this article.
EU finance commissioner Joaquin Almunia announced on Tuesday (10 January) that he supports boosting the union's budget from a new EU tax, which would also give greater autonomy and room for manoeuvre to EU institutions.
These institutions, and the EU as a whole, have not had their accounts signed off for eleven years. As I have constantly pointed out, the fact that we still pay money to an institution without properly rigourous accounting procedures in place is, in fact, a breach of the EU's own rules on fraud and money-laundering. Strangely, I haven't seen the EU taking any countries to the ECJ for paying money to itself. What a surprise.
The last thing that we want to do is to give these fuckers more wriggle-room. These accounting practices are not mistakes: there is a systematic campaign of intimidation of EU accountants who blow the whistle on EU fraud and corruption. Paul van Buitenen or Marta Andreason (who suggested, fairly strongly) that the EU Commission was unable to properly account for over 90% of its £20 billion budget) could tell you all about it; so could the reporters Hans Peter Martin and Hans-Martin Tillack. Andreason and van Buitenen were removed from their posts and the reporters, Tillack in particular, were subjected to a sustained campaign of intimidation and persecution (see Private Eye, passim ad nauseam).
The commissioner said that such a fiscal instrument, which he preferred to call a "community resource" rather than "community tax", would have to conceal the origin of money collected from individual member states, to avoid the constant fighting over net and gross cash balance.
Does that really sound like they are going to introduce more transparency? As the Serf put it, what they are saying is actually something pretty similar to this:
We want your cash, we don't want you to be aware of how much we are taking and we want to choose what to spend it on.
Look, I don't support even the idea of the EU, as should be obvious from my banner description: I'm with Worstall on this one. There are others, such as NM and Mat, for whom this EU idea is a noble project, merely being derailed by a few bad eggs.
Please understand, the EU is rotten to the core. If this project is to work, all of the people, institutions and power structures currently involved need to be destroyed and rebuilt from scratch. Everyone involved in a fucking corrupt piece of squirrel-turd. I mean, just look at a couple of our Commissioners: Neil Kinnock, a political failure, and Peter Mandelson, a man so corrupt that he makes the entirety of the Major government look squeaky-clean. And do you think that it is only Britain that sends their failed and corrupt to serve out their days in the EU? No. Unio Europaea delenda est and, if not, the current one certainly has to go. And given this, there's no fucking way that I am paying any of my wages directly to that piece of shit organisation.
However, NM does enquire as to why this whole tax business might be rearing its ugly head again.
Even if dear old Tony "This lady IS for turning" Blair tried to give in and accept an EU tax, there's no way in hell Gordon Brown would let him.
So why all the shit-stirring? What is Schuessel up to?
It's an interesting question, with a couple of factors in the answer. Firstly, Schuessel must think that it might be possible at this time. As NM says, Britain is going to be the real problem here; however, Our Glorious Leader has already proposed to give away a load more of our cash, and the backlash wasn't too bad. Besides, Toni's leaving at the end of this parliament; he doesn't have a lot to lose; what does he care?
The other thing is a slight desperation: the EU's main "secure" source of income is the tariffs on goods entering the EU, which go straight to the EU's coffers. These tariffs are coming under intolerable political and economic pressure; they are going to have to be reduced at the very least as the demands, and bargaining power, of the Developing World—and, most especially, China—increases. The US has already offered considerable concessions and looks like it may even drop its farming subsidies too. The EU is under increaing pressure to at least match the US offers. Besides, EU pride is at stake: Europe is meant to be the compassionate one, and the US is meant to be the exploititive, world-raping, Third-World-economy-fucking superpower. Interesting times, my dears.
None of this changes my opinion that the entire EU should be razed to the ground and never re-established; fuck the EU, its corrupt Commisioners, its lazy MEPs and all the other cunts in and around it. Unio Europaea delenda est.
UPDATE: Why won't you get the message? It's our fucking money, you corrupt bunch of cum-sucking, baby-raping cunt-slappers. Get your filthy paws off our money and go throw yourselves into the sea, you utter, utter bastards.
Can we please, in the name of all that is holy, get the fuck out now?