EU expecting ‘huge gift from Santa’, says UKIP’s EU Budget Spokesman, Jonathan Arnott.

The EU is expecting a ‘huge gift from Santa’, according to UKIP’s EU Budget Spokesman, Jonathan Arnott, as EU leaders gather in Brussels to discuss a €315 billion investment fund proposed by EU President, Jean – Claude Juncker.

The fund, unveiled towards the end last month, is planned to result in €315bn investment in the EU economy in the forthcoming years, using a guarantee of €16 billion from the EU budget and €5 billion from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Getting from €21bn to €315bn represents a leverage ratio of 15, a figure that has triggered fierce criticism that the European Commission is merely using figures which ‘don’t add up’.

UKIP’s EU Budget Spokesman, Jonathan Arnott MEP, said “In the run-up to Christmas, the European Council will be holding a meeting about Juncker’s proposed €315 billion investment Plan for Europe.  With the European Union contributing just €16 billion and the Investment Bank €5 billion, the only way that this will work is if they receive a huge gift from Santa because the economic reality is that the figures just don’t add up.

“Private companies aren’t going to contribute 15 times what’s put in by Europe unless there’s an incredibly sweet deal for them, which means a bad deal for the taxpayer.  After the recent British experience of the disaster which was Labour’s PFI initiative in the NHS, I don’t expect people in the UK to warm to Mr. Juncker’s Ponzi scheme.”

Letters – We must protect our greenbelt

Dear Editor,

Yesterday, a letter published yesterday from Sheila Spencer attacked UKIP over the issue of housing. Ms Spencer seemed to advocate the building of hundreds of thousands of homes, presumably on our precious greenbelt.

Currently more than 6,000 homes are planned each month to be built on our countryside.

UKIP would plan to incentivise back into the market the 700,000 empty homes which lie shamefully across the country. Why plan to build even more houses when we have nearly three quarters of a million standing empty?

UKIP would also change planning rules to make it easier to build on Brownfield sites instead of Greenfield sites. Central government would have the ability to list nationally available Brownfield sites for development and issue low interest bonds to enable decontamination – this would raise £5bn to fund our Brownfield revitalisation programme.

These plans alone would stop the development of the concrete jungle that our political class seem so intent on creating, and develop a sustainable low cost housing solution, creating a fairer society for all.

 

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Commission Question – Page 17 of the ‘EU Audit in Brief’ document for 2013 states that the Commission has fully or partially implemented 79 % of the Court of Auditors’ recommendations from 2012. This means that 21 % have not been implemented at all. Does the Commission consider this to be acceptable?

Question to the Commission for written answer E-009222/2014 by Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Court of Auditors recommendations

 

Page 17 of the ‘EU Audit in Brief’ document for 2013 states that the Commission has fully or partially implemented 79 % of the Court of Auditors’ recommendations from 2012. This means that 21 % have not been implemented at all.

Does the Commission consider this to be acceptable?

 

E-009222/2014 Answer given on behalf of the Commission by Vice-President Georgieva (9.12.2014)

 

The Commission would like to stress that the cited report of the Court of Auditors1 observe that “79% of recommendations were either fully or mostly implemented” and that this figure relates to eight special reports in the period 2007-2010.

For recommendations where the Commission shares the view of the Court of Auditors on both the concerns it raises and the remedial action it proposes, the Commission Services are instructed to undertake the implementation of the necessary measures without unjustified delay. Some recommendations are, however, inherently of a multiannual nature where the full implementation period and/or the time for the results to show may expand over a number of years. Also, some of them in the shared management spending areas are addressed fully and/or primarily to Member States.

The Court of Auditors’ practice of presenting recommendations with a multitude of sub-recommendations means that a recommendation may remain partially implemented in the statistics. To facilitate the follow-up process the Commission has recently introduced the practice of splitting combined recommendations in its monitoring system which is expected to bear a favourable impact on the follow-up statistics.

The Commission is currently undertaking a reflection on the follow-up actions through its Audit Progress Committee and with the planned involvement of the European Court of Auditors in order to further strengthen and streamline the process of implementing recommendation.

1  http://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/AB_2013/AB_2013_EN.pdf.

 

 

Commission Question – Under UK law, it is a fundamental principle that no Parliament may legally bind its successor. Consequently, all international treaties are signed only to the extent allowed by this principle. The UK could, as an alternative to invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, opt for the more direct approach of repealing the European Communities Act 1972. What would be the consequences of such a decision for the negotiation of a free trade deal between the United Kingdom and the EU?

Question to the Commission for written answer E-009220/2014   by Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Repeal of European Communities Act 1972

 

Under UK law, it is a fundamental principle that no Parliament may legally bind its successor. Consequently, all international treaties are signed only to the extent allowed by this principle. The UK could, as an alternative to invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, opt for the more direct approach of repealing the European Communities Act 1972.

What would be the consequences of such a decision for the negotiation of a free trade deal between the United Kingdom and the EU?

 

E-009220/2014 Answer given by President Junckeron behalf of the Commission (11.12.2014)

 

 

In line with the Treaty on European Union (TEU), which all Member States have ratified, a Member State can only withdraw from the European Union in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 50 TEU.

Powers to parents and governors over ofsted inspections

Parents or Govenors should have the ability to trigger an Ofsted inspection if at least 25% sign a petition and present it to the Department for Education, according to UKIP’s North East Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.

Arnott, a former Maths teacher, made the claim as Nick Hudson, the regional director for Ofsted, criticised the poor performance of secondary schools in the North-East.

Hudson said that children in the region ‘deserve better’ with Ofsted revealing that nearly a third of schools are failing students.

UKIP’s local MEP, Jonathan Arnott, said “Parents and governors should have the ability to trigger an Ofsted inspection if they feel the standards are slipping at their local comprehensive school. Ofsted have said that standards of schools in the region are dropping, yet, they still only venture into our schools when it suits their own blueprint”.

Ofsted’s Chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw recently announced that schools rated ‘good’ may still have to wait for up to three years for another inspection, and inspectors are now likely to be at the school for a shorter period of time.

Last year, across England more than 800 schools which had previously been identified as ‘good’ had “slipped back” into a lower grading.

“A lot can change in a school in at least three years, and recent figures show that many schools across the country have slipped lower than Ofsted’s ‘good’ rating. We talk about moving power away from the establishment; giving parents or governors the ability to trigger a school inspection would go some way in achieving that” added Arnott.

 

Divert funding from vanity University degrees to apprenticeships says Jonathan Arnott MEP

 – UKIP MEP gives examples of degrees at Newcastle University where funding should be scrapped

 – States that funds should be used to boost apprenticeships for ‘real world experience’

Funding for vanity degrees should be scrapped, and money saved should be invested into apprenticeships in the region to cut a ‘chronic skills shortage’, claims UKIP’s North East Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.

It comes after business leaders across the North East have hit out at plans by the government to divert funds away from training providers, giving businesses control of funding their own apprenticeship schemes.

Earlier this week, findings revealed by global recruitment firm Manpower showed that UK-based businesses were hiring Portuguese bricklayers on £1,000 a week wages because of a skills shortage in Britain.

Arnott, Newcastle’s local Euro MP, said “We have a chronic skills shortage in our region and far more needs to be done to help develop valuable skills for our young people. Newcastle University are currently offering £27,000 degrees in ‘Folk and Traditional Music’ and ‘Countryside Management’, quite frankly, funding for these vanity degrees should be scrapped, and money saved should be invested into even more apprenticeships in our region”.

Mr Arnott also highlighted the £27,000 classroom-based ‘Rural Studies’ degree, which Newcastle University states is ‘ideal if you enjoy the outdoors’, calling the qualification a ‘complete madness’: “The inside of a city classroom is hardly the best place to learn about rural areas”.

“By making this change it is likely that the cost of a university degree would decrease, as fewer would be funded by the taxpayer. We currently have an education system based on wealth and not on ability. No enough is being done to ensure that the brightest brains from the poorest backgrounds have exactly the same opportunity to succeed as the richest in society” added Arnott.

Letters – We must be able to defend ourselves

Dear Editor,

Recent reports highlighted that an unidentified submarine could be lurking off the coast of Scotland and the UK lacked the resources to react to this potential threat. Indeed, allies had to send planes from as far away as France, America and Canada just so we could search our own coast. If we ever did face a real threat I highly doubt resources could be moved from Canada quickly enough to do anything but access the damage.

The world is an uncertain place, with powerful nations and organisations pursing aggressive agendas.  We need to be able to defend our borders, coasts and airspace at all times.  The threat may be remote but we must be prepared.

The British army must be supported by our politicians, and we need to reconsider successive governments’ hawkish involvement in expensive foreign wars which has often – as in the case of Iraq – proved to be counterproductive.

Jonathan Arnott

UKIP, North East