EU budget rejected by MEPs over planned spending cuts

THE EUROPEAN Parliament yesterday rejected the EU budget after the 27 leaders of the bloc’s member states agreed to cut spending by 3.3 per cent.

MEPs used powers handed to them in the 2009 Lisbon Treaty to vote overwhelmingly against the deal, demanding a more flexible approach to spending and the right to carry any surplus over to future budgets. While accepting the slight cut in the headline figure, MEPs also demanded the legal right to review spending in 2017.

“The European Parliament cannot accept the proposal from the member states without the fulfilment of certain essential conditions,” said parliament president Martin Schulz.

Last month a group of countries led by Germany and Britain secured the first ever cut to the EU’s spending, agreeing a €960bn (£833bn) budget for 2014-2020.