Osborne attacks above inflation EU budget hike

CHANCELLOR George Osborne slammed European plans for the EU budget yesterday.

The above-inflation 4.9 per cent spending increase adds €6.2bn (£5.5bn) to the EU’s proposed budget to take it to €132.7bn.

Osborne said the government was “not prepared to accept the kind of budget proposal that has been put forward today” and said there needed to be “a reality check in Brussels” to bring spending in line with members’ own austerity plans. “The proposal from the Commission for a big budget rise is completely unacceptable,” he said in a BBC interview.

EU budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski said it was needed to maintain EU grants. “We cannot punish our citizens, companies, local and regional authorities who have a right to get their bills paid,” he said.