October 13, 2016
LOCAL MEP SLAMS EU WASTE
After the European Union’s Court of Auditors failed to give the accounts a clean bill of health for the 22nd year in a row North West UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall has hit out at the huge amount of money being wasted.
Mr Nuttall said “This shows that it’s just as well that we voted to leave the European Union when we did. The levels of waste and bureaucracy are breathtaking.
“Money is being wasted left, right and centre. When we’re outside the EU we can cut out the middleman and look after our own businesses ourselves. It is outrageous that so much money is being thrown away and the sooner we get out the better.
“The system simply isn’t fit for purpose,” he said.
The Court of Auditors’ report blasts the payments underlying the accounts as being ‘materially affected by error’, leading the Court to issue an adverse opinion on the legality and regularity of the payments underlying the accounts.
An adverse opinion is rare in accountancy, and is issued only in serious cases where there has been a substantial departure from generally accepted accounting principles.
In the 320-page report, the Court of Auditors blasted various examples of EU waste and mismanagement. But the Court of Auditor’s findings only told a small part of the true scale of EU wastefulness, because only a small sample of all expenditure is scrutinised by the Court. There are undoubtedly many similar examples which will simply never be found.
The error rate is 3.8%, almost double the 2% threshold which is the maximum considered acceptable by the Court of Auditors, affecting a whopping €5.4 billion of EU spending.
Note to editors –
Some examples of the problems are highlighted by the report are below:
The Commission committed to more expenditure last year than it did in any previous year in history. (p53)
The European Union’s liabilities now exceed its assets by a huge €72.4 billion. Last year the deficit was a further €10.3 billion. (p15)
There is not yet any procedure in place to ensure that projects actually provide value for money, or that they have been used in the way that they were intended.
A €4,000 mountain bike, a €10,000 donation to a local church and a €3,500 panoramic spyglass were claimed for in Italy as part of an €80,000 spending spree on unnecessary items for a project. (p238)
A youth club in Azerbaijan was given €16,500 but the Court of Auditors was unable to actually trace the youth club, leading to fears that the money had disappeared altogether (p260).
A €250,000 euro grant for cloud computing services (p149) was used to pay staff for hours they didn’t work, and give them bonuses that they weren’t entitled to.