Over-paid and over there
The coalition government has made much of high earnings in the public sector, claiming that restriction will help economic recovery. So far it has said little about the cost of the EU or its unelected officials. At least 1,023 of them have higher salaries than the UK Prime Minister, including EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton, the Commission President, 6 vice-presidents and so on. The Commission admits it doesn not know the true numbers, which could be much greater. EU officials also get low tax rates.
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet wants the European Commission to have powers over every country’s budget. He said, “The ECB believes that a true quantum leap is needed in the framework for surveillance and adjustment of fiscal policies,” adding, “we need the equivalent of a fiscal federation.” He said “surveillance” means, “Conscious management of wages and costs in order to maintain a healthy position for the economy within a competitive environment...”
The costs of trading emissions
A report from think tank Civitas has warned of the extra energy costs from the EU’s emission trading scheme, its renewables targets, and its climate change levy which taxes energy use in businesses and the public sector. Britain’s 2009 “Renewable Energy Strategy” suggested that by 2020 the surcharge on electricity prices could be as high as 33 per cent for domestic users and 70 per cent for business users. The Department of Energy and Climate Change says the proportion of electricity coming from renewables fell by 7.5 per cent in the first three months of this year compared with 2009.
The cap’s not fitting
Nearly four out of five new jobs in Britain have gone to foreigners over the past three months according to government figures. There is an immigration cap limiting skilled workers who can come here to just over 24,000. But the new figures show that more than half the foreign workers in new jobs, 77,000, would be exempt because they come from within the EU.