I regret that the conversion from Excel to blogger is not wildly successful hence SOME of the figure work is a little difficult to puzzle out - If I trip over the data in a more understandable format I will post it here also!
More from Tim Congdon on Pan-European parties
Political parties at European level [meaning: pan-European parties] are funded from the general budget of the European Union. This budget may not be used for the funding of other political parties and in particular national political parties.” Repeat: the EU budget for pan-European political parties “may not be used for the funding of national political parties”. I quote from the official website of the EU (http://europa.eu/). My quotation is the official and definitive statement on the subject.
The UK Independence Party is undoubtedly a national political party. Indeed, its purpose is to restore in full the independence of the United Kingdom. As every member of UKIP deplores, this independence has been largely stolen from our country by a corrupt political elite collaborating with the EU’s bureaucracy. If UKIP is not a national political party as the EU understands that concept, I will eat my hat. So the EU’s budget for pan-European political parties is not to be used by national political parties, while UKIP is a national political party. It follows – logically, inescapably – that none of the EU’s money for pan-European political parties can be used by UKIP in the United Kingdom for UKIP’s own ends.
At this point you might say, “Full stop, end of story. There is nothing more to say. Let’s move on to the vital, important work that UKIP must do to take Britain out of the EU.” And I would agree with you 100%. Nevertheless, the team pushing for UKIP’s association with a pan-European political party claim on their website that an extra £400,000 a year would come to “our party”. This claim – which is their only argument – is false. No money would become available to “us” in UKIP for the purposes of “our party”. Do not believe the “yes to PEPPs” side if that is what they say.
How much money has been approved for all expenditure on PEPPs?
The 2011 EU Budget has a section on the European Parliament's expenditure and within that there is an allocation for 'political parties at the European level' (i.e., PEPPs)
The figures are, 17.4m. euros for the PEPPs as such, and 11.4m. euros for the Foundations.
This 28.8m. euros is divided up, according to a key in EP regulations.
But surely, you might protest, the “yes” side cannot be indulging in total fantasy. I have over the last few days carried out some homework on various EU and European Parliament websites, and am confident that I know how the “yes” team have derived their numbers.
The full story is quite complicated. You need an Excel file (which is available from me at firstname.lastname@example.org and is also attached with this e-mail) to appreciate the detail of the calculations, but I can give the main points here. Remember that any sums arising from UKIP’s association with a pan-European political party come out of the EU Budget. That is why their expenditure is subject to European Parliament rules.
The promotion of pan-European political parties is seen by Eurocrats as part of the larger process of European integration. Indeed, so keen are the Eurocrats to expand pan-European political activity that they are hugely increasing the amounts spent. In 2009 the EU’s expenditure in this area was just under 17 million euros, whereas in 2011 the budget allocation has leapt to 28.8 million euros. The cynical and wasteful increase of almost 70 per cent in a mere two years is an insult to our taxpayers. It has occurred while our own government has had sharply to cut expenditure.
How does the key work?
EU regulations say 'The available budget for the political parties is distributed annually as follows: 15% is distributed in equal shares among the parties which have obtained a positive decision and 85% is distributed in proportion to the number of elected members.'
Box shows sums available and basis of apportionment.
Based on no. of PEPPs
Based on no. of MEPs
Total PEPPs, m. of euros 2.61 14.79 17.4
Foundations, m. euros 1.71 9.69 11.4
So, for example, of the 11.4m. Euros for the Foundations (i.e., think tanks), 1.71m. Is distributed according to the number of PEPPs which have 'obtained a positive decision' (meaning they have complied with EU criteria which a PEPP must meet). If there were 15 PEPPs, each Foundation associated with a PEPP would receive (1.7m. divided by 15) euros, or 113,300 euros out of this particular box.
The 28.8 million euros has two destinations. First, in Germany think-tanks or “foundations” affiliated to political parties have long been subsidized by the state. 11.4 million euros out of the 28.4 million is to finance the establishment of such “foundations” at the pan-European level. I estimate that the grant to the UKIP-related foundation due to our MEPs’ adhesion to the pan-European party would be about £170,000.
Secondly, the balance of 17.4 million euros is to be added to MEPs allowances. I believe – and I am sure most members of UKIP also believe – that MEPs’ allowances are too high already. At any rate, any MEP who joins a pan-European political party would see his or her allowances topped up by over £20,000. Let me underline once again that the resulting expenditure would be for the purposes of the pan-European party as regulated by the European Parliament, not for UKIP in the United Kingdom.
What would 'the European Alliance' receive by becoming a PEPP?
I am assuming that UKIP has 11 MEPs and that it belongs to 'the European Alliance', which has met the EU's criteria for being 'a political party at the European level'. I am also assuming that the European Alliance has 32 MEPs as members.
The following box shows how much the European Alliance would receive.
Receipts from being one of 11 Europarties Receipts from having 32 out of 736 MEPs i.e., 1/11 of amounts in box above (2.61, 1.71) i.e., 32/736 of amounts in box above (14.79, 9.69)
PEPP's money, euros 237,000 643,000
Money for a Foundation, in euros 155,000 421,000
So the total amount for the European Alliance (i.e., for its MEPs and its Foundation) would be about 1.45m. euros, which - at the present exchange rate - is roughly £1.3m. This is why the 'yes' side say that - by joining a PEPP - UKIP would stop 'our enemies' receiving £1.3m.
So the figure of “£400,000 for us in UKIP” on the “yes” website is explained, more or less. If all MEPs join “the European Alliance” or whatever, a new think-tank – perhaps located in Brussels – would be given a grant of about £170,000 and MEPs would receive altogether another £230,000 or so in extra expenses allowances. Do you approve of these uses of money in the name of the political party to which you belong? Is the 28.8 million euros budget to be seen as an excellent use of resources or the squandering of taxpayers’ money by a loathsome Euro- elite?
UKIP’s (or – in fact – UKIP’s MEPs’) acceptance of this sort of bribe from our enemies would be a shocking and deplorable betrayal. The “yes” side may say that the Conservatives, Labour and the LibDems have already participated in “political parties at the European level” and taken the money. They might ask, “why should UKIP be any different?”. The answer – I would hope – is that the UK Independence Party stands for principle and conviction, and is therefore opposed to politicians’ boondoggles. Politicians in the Conservative, Labour and LibDem parties are tacky and selfish, and we shouldn’t and won’t copy them. Let Conservative, Labour and LibDem MEPs join the other pigs at the trough. UKIP must not take money from a set of institutions that we detest.
Let me reiterate that no extra money would be directed to UKIP headquarters, any of UKIP’s branches or UKIP regional accounts. MEPs would indeed have (yet more) on their allowances, but could spend it only for purposes approved by the European Parliament. And do I need to say that the European Parliament’s officials loathe what UKIP stands for?
Vote No to the pan-European party idea in the forthcoming ballot.
Professor Tim Congdon CBE
12th July, 2011
Receipts for UKIP's MEPs as members of a PEPP
The PEPP's MEPs would receive 880,000 euros (237,000 + 643,000), to be spent on
for purposes regulated by the European Parliament.
The Foundation would receive 576,000 euros (155,000 + 421,000).
UKIP's MEPs would receive 11/32 of the 880,000 euros, which is 303,000 euros.
The Foundation would receive - as a result of the 11 UKIP MEPs' membership of the PEPP - a sum equal to 11/32 of 576,000 euros, or 198,000 euros.
The total sum received by the MEPs for PEPP activities and by the Foundation as a result of UKIP's participation in the PEPP would be 501,000 euros, which - at an exchange rate of 1.15 - is £436,000.
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