Labour’s Ronnie Campbell cosying up to big business, says UKIP’s Jonathan Arnott MEP

Labour’s MP for Blyth, Ronnie Campbell, is cosying up to big business, whilst ‘neglecting the people who pay his wages at the end of the month’, according to Blyth’s UKIP Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.

Mr Campbell said he ‘looked forward’ to working with the French government owned organisation, EDF ER, after the company acquired rights to develop the Blyth offshore wind demonstration project.

The project has the potential of seeing 15 wind turbines erected, up to 195m tall, meaning each turbine could be at least nine times the height of the North East landmark, the Angel of the North.

Arnott said “From this we can clearly see that Mr Campbell supports lavish ‘green subsidies’ which are given out to over-powering corporations and wealthy land owners, such as David Cameron’s father-in-law, to build and develop even more hugely inefficient wind turbines in the future.

“Campaigners say 6 million families are already in fuel poverty, with the figure set to hit 9 million by 2016.  By supporting this project, Mr Campbell is only adding to the pressures that families and pensioners across the country will face for winters to come.”

A recent study by the Adam Smith Institute and the Scientific Alliance found that, on average, wind farms produce 80 per cent of their potential power output for less than one week annually – and they manage 90 per cent output for only 17 hours a year.

Ben Southwood, Head of Policy at the Adam Smith Institute, said: “Wind farms are a bad way of reducing emissions and a bad way of producing power.

“They are expensive and deeply inefficient and it seems like they reduce the value of housing enormously in nearby areas”.

Arnott added “It’s inevitable that more expensive energy bills will destroy more job opportunities locally than they’ll create.”

 

 

Commission Question: Could the Commission provide details of the composition of working groups which advise it on legislation?

Question to the Commission for written answer E-007757/2014:

Could the Commission provide details of the composition of working groups which advise it on legislation?

 

Answer given by Mr Barroso on behalf of the Commission:

The Register of Commission expert groups and other similar entities (http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regexpert/index.cfm) provides for information on the composition of each entity published therein. Individual groups can be easily identified via both a quick and advanced search facility.

Commission Question – Can the Commission please explain why redundancy payments for former parliamentary staff are so generous compared with the private sector?

Question to the Commission for written answer :

Can the Commission please explain why redundancy payments for former parliamentary staff are so generous compared with the private sector1?

  • See ‘Unemployed MEP assistants line up for big benefits’, Euractiv, 8 July 2014.

 

Answer given by Mr Šefčovič on behalf of the Commission:

 

In 2009 the legislator decided1 that the accredited parliamentary assistants shall be employed by way of direct contracts with the European Parliament and shall be covered against the risk of unemployment by the Special Unemployment Fund set under the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the EU to which they contribute to during their period of employment. The legislator also took account of the particular circumstances of the accredited parliamentary assistants who are, as a general rule, expatriates and work in multilingual and multicultural environment, the particular tasks they are called on to perform and the specific duties and obligations they have to fulfil vis-à-vis the Members of the European Parliament.

As for the amount of the unemployment benefit it is calculated as a percentage decreasing from 60% to 30% of the last basic salary. The payment is subject to EU tax and it is capped after the 6th month. The period during which the allowance is payable may not exceed the equivalent of 1/3 of the actual length of the service completed. To be eligible the beneficiaries must be registered as seeking employment with the national unemployment authorities. Benefits received from a national scheme are deducted from the unemployment allowance.

 

1  Council Regulation (EC) No 160/2009 of 23 February 2009 amending the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities.