MPs stay firm on no increase in Brussels budget

Prime minister Mark Rutte must argue in Brussels for an absolute freeze in EU spending, with no increase for inflation, MPs said on Tuesday evening.


Rutte had said earlier that Dutch backing for a rise in line with inflation would make it easier to negotiate a new rebate on Dutch contributions to the EU.
However, MPs from all but the ruling VVD and CDA, backed a motion calling for a freeze in spending. They argue that it would be wrong to give more money to the EU at a time when member states are being forced to make cuts.
The Netherlands has had a €1bn rebate on its contributions since 2006 but that is due to expire in 2013.
The official cabinet line is to allow EU spending to rise in line with inflation for the next two years, a position which has majority support within the council of ministers, Rutte says.
The European Commission wants a 4.9% increase in its budget for 2012.
Earlier stories
No increase in cash for Brussels, says a majority of MPs
The Netherlands pays too much to Europe
EU budget out of all proportion
The Netherlands to press for EU contribution cut
The Netherlands is still a major EU net payer
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