Labour calls for EU to make spending reforms

In a joint article written in The Times Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander have called for the European Union to spend less money, and to reallocate how it spends money.

They supported plans to overhaul the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as they called the current subsidies "a waste" of money that does not create jobs. They said:

Far too much money still goes on agricultural subsidies, instead of on policies to promote growth, cohesion and development or to support the EU’s vital role in international affairs

So further reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) must not just be discussed but implemented.

The CAP amounts to about £45 billion and the UK makes a net contribution of about £1 billion per year. Although the butter mountains of the past are long gone, the need for reform is no less urgent. The CAP is an obstacle to international trade liberalisation, creates too few jobs and introduces distortions so there is not a level playing field. The EU cannot afford this waste.

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Labour calls for EU budget cut

Labour have called for a real-terms cut in the budget of the European Union. The Prime Minister has agreed to a 2% rise in budget, 3% less than the European Commission asked for, but Ed Balls says it is time for the EU to adapt to austere conditions.