EU budget 'too high', Dutch finance minister says

30th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager attacked the European Commission's proposal for the next 2014-2020 budget as "too high", saying Europe should cut back in line with member states.

"The suggestion by the Commission is too high," De Jager said in a statement issued in The Hague. "Member states are cutting back strongly and Europe must do that as well," he said.

"Together with other frugal countries we will work hard to keep the budget under control," he added.

De Jager's statement comes as both Germany and Britain also blasted the proposal, saying it set a poor example during the eurozone debt crisis.

The Netherland's top finance official slapped down the Commission's calls for the introduction of an EU sales tax and financial services tax, saying "I am a proponent of 'new taxes' and therefore not of European taxes."

"Taxation is a national competence," he said.

The proposals from Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso to seek new sources of revenue aim to allow the bloc's executive arm to raise its own funds rather than depend so heavily on funding from the EU member states.

The outline of the next seven-year budget totalled 1.025 trillion euros in commitments or about 1.05 percent of output.

© 2011 AFP

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