Money saving proposals rejected by EU

Proposals by UKIP which would have saved more than €3.4 billion taxpayers money have been thrown out by the EU.

“This is how the European Union operates – spend, spend, spend and to hell with the cost, as it not coming out of over-paid bureaucrats’ pockets,” said Jonathan Arnott, UKIP’s North East MEP.

“We put 33 eminently sensible money saving proposals forward to the budget committee and one by one they have been rejected. Sadly this came as no great surprise as the EU’s ethos is to keep expanding as it is a money-gobbling machine on the road to destruction.

“Our proposals included cutting MEP salaries, travel expenses and their assistants budget  – so no great shock that they got the thumbs down!”, he said.

The other cost saving suggestions included – scrapping the Economic and Monetary Union propaganda campaign; cutting commissioners salaries; scrapping the EU House of History; cutting the Monnet professor budget and cutting funding for more countries to join the EU, e.g. Turkey.

“The Parliament’s attitude to the proposals is further proof – not that we really need more – that the UK’s vote for Brexit was absolutely the right decision.

“Some people ask these days what is the point of UKIP now we have had the referendum and the answer is we must hold the government’s feet to the fire to make sure that Britain’s exit from this failing bloc happens sooner rather than later. Every day that goes by continues to cost us £55 million a day,” said Mr Arnott.

Nissan news welcomed by Jonathan Arnott MEP

News that the Nissan Qashqai and X-Trail models will be built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant, securing in the region of 7,000 jobs, has been welcomed by local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott.

Whilst the Qashqai decision had been expected, the X-Trail was more of a surprise.

Almost one-third of all cars made in the UK last year were made at the Sunderland plant.

Jonathan Arnott said “I am absolutely delighted that these jobs have been secured and this is fantastic news not just for Nissan workers, but also for those working in jobs in the supply chain.

“This is a real much needed boost to the local economy.

“I wonder how long it will be before we hear the words ‘despite Brexit’ from those naysayers and doom-mongers who downplay every success and magnify every failure in an attempt to sabotage the will of the people and British prosperity.

“They were not slow to try to weaponise Nissan in their fight against the referendum result and this is one in the eye for them. They ought to reflect upon the jeopardy in which they place British jobs when they do so.

“This news is not just good news for the North East but the whole country as I have no doubt that the confidence shown by Nissan will be reflected by other companies,” said Mr Arnott.

An EU employee has been put on leave and given €18,000 per month

An “appalling money for nothing” scheme for EU employees taking early retirement has been highlighted by UKIP.

The issue has come to light after approval was given this week for an employee to be put on leave and given €18,000 per month potentially for five years.

The unnamed staff member currently earns €12,000 a month but an amendment passed by the EU Budget Committee involves not only a larger sum but it will be classed as an allowance.

And at the employee’s request he will continue to pay into the organisation’s generous pension scheme.  He has been placed on leave “in the interests of the service” effective from December 1.

According to the Staff statutes, 5% of all EU staff eligible for retirement, can get full pay for doing nothing up to a maximum of five years.

Jonathan Arnott, North East UKIP MEP, said, “For this individual to be paid this staggering amount of money and then be explicitly asked to do nothing flies in the face of hard-working Brits who do a proper day’s work for their money.

“To pay them more than the Prime Minister to do nothing is appalling – but then getting value for British tax-payer’s money has never been a high priority for the EU which is a bonfire of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash.

“I have written to the Secretariat to ask for clarification about exactly how much taxpayers’ money is involved in this case, and will be grilling the Commission to find out how much money is being spent to keep other officials on similar money-for-nothing schemes.”

Crime is on the rise all across the North East

Dear Editor,

It was very concerning to read new statistics revealed on Thursday (20/10/16) showing that crime is on the rise all across the North East. Crime rose 35% in Northumbria, 19% in Durham and 11% Cleveland. Northumbria had the highest crime increase in England and Wales.  At the same time, the Conservative government is continuing to make cuts to police funding. What message does that send to criminals? Is there any wonder that crime is on the rise when our government clearly doesn’t see the fight against crime as a priority.

People deserve to feel safe in their homes and on our public streets.  It may be a cliché, but it’s only a cliché because it’s true and ignored by our government: is time to get tough on crime.

The government must give our police forces the resources that they need to protect their local communities, ensure good governance and that resources are focused on front-line policing not pen-pushing. That means fewer police press officers and more patrols on the streets.

We must also ensure that when criminals are found guilty they receive suitable prison sentences – sadly all too often (and much to the dismay of their victims) criminals walk away from court with little more than a slap on the wrist.

The North East already suffers from high unemployment and a lack of government investment. The last thing local people need is rising crime.


Jonathan Arnott MEP

Lax sentencing and an increase in crime have once again gone hand in hand

Dear Editor,

I was extremely disappointed to hear that a judge in Middlesbrough released a young criminal after declaring that his “wings are clipped” despite admitting that nothing has previously stopped this repeat offender and stating that he was “determined to embark on a life which will result in you being locked up for increasingly long periods in custody.”

Deterrence and rehabilitation are two core pillars of our justice system, but protection of the public is also vital.  Figures released on Thursday (20/10/2016) revealed that crime in the Cleveland Police area (which was already at a high level) rose by 11% in the past year.

Soft-touch justice fails to deter criminals, fails to protect the public, fails to ensure that the punishment fits the crime and fails to provide any incentive for offenders to rehabilitate.  Criminals whose actions show a danger to our society should head to prison, not return onto our streets after yet another slap on the wrists.

It is an old cliché to say “it’s time to get tough on crime”, but it’s true: lax sentencing and an increase in crime have once again gone hand in hand.


Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

How many more innocent animals must die before our government will act?

Dear Editor,

Writing this letter reminds me of the film Groundhog Day:until Phil the weatherman learns his lesson, he’s doomed to repeat the same day of his life over and over again. I write once again about a cruel attack on an animal, this time near Redcar. These offences are not only far too common, but they are not taken seriously enough by our criminal justice system.

Current laws are woefully inadequate, with maximum sentences of under a year in jail for any animal cruelty offence. Even some of the most horrific of offences often do not result in a custodial sentence.

Parliament must act to increase the maximum sentences for animal cruelty. Sentencing guidelines need to be change so that those who torture animals for pleasure expect to go to prison.

It’s rare that I, as a UKIP MEP, will be heard praising Labour politicians. But I was immensely pleased to hear Anna Turley MP (Redcar) call for tougher sentences in Parliament this week and hope that more MPs will treat this important issue with the seriousness and gravity that it deserves.

Society has a responsibility to those who do not have a voice of their own, and the treatment of animals is no exception; these animal welfare issues should never be ignored. How many more innocent animals must die before our government will act?


Jonathan Arnott MEP

Crime rises across the North East

Newly released figures showing that crime is up in the North East paint a “very worrying picture” said the region’s UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott.

The figures revealed by Office of National Statistics show that across the region the number of recorded crimes, excluding fraud, are up by by 24%. by 190,022.

The breakdown shows that at 35% Northumbria has the highest crime increase in any police force area in England and Wales against 2015. In Durham the rise has been 19% and Cleveland 11%.

“These figures paint a worrying picture in a time when a Conservative government is continuing to make cuts to our police forces,” said Mr Arnott.

“It surely demonstrates that you cannot just keep on cutting back on public services such as our vital police forces, because eventually something has to give.

“The public rightly expect that they should be safe in their homes and on the streets and these figures tend to undermine that expectation.

“The North East tops the league in unemployment figures and that inevitably has a knock on effect on crime figures as desperate people can be driven to desperate measures, although undoubtedly the vast majority are law abiding individuals.

It’s time to get touch on crime,” he added.



Bus lanes were not created to punish drivers

Dear Editor

I just read an article on the ChronicleLive website (14/10/16) which highlighted recent comments from a retired policeman about the Newcastle bus lanes.

This is an issue that constituents have raised with me on numerous occasions. Many people (especially from other areas who are not used to driving in Newcastle) feel that it is very easy to accidentally enter a bus lane in Newcastle and receive a ticket. Some constituents have even speculated this is not a coincidence.

I hope that Newcastle City Council use the recent decision to cancel around 5,000 penalties as an opportunity to review their system and make sure that it is fit for purpose.

I know this is a tough time for the Council and that more cuts are looming, but bus lanes were not specifically created to punish drivers or to generate revenue for the Council, nor should they unnecessarily put people off visiting Newcastle.



Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

I can’t speak for the ‘IN’ campaign, but this is not what I would call ‘value for money.’

Dear Editor,

The ‘IN’ campaign have spent the last year claiming the EU represents excellent value for UK taxpayers. Last week the EU Court of Auditors released its annual report – here are a few examples of what it revealed about EU spending:

–  A youth club that may not actually exist was given €16,500.

– A €250,000 euro grant was used to pay staff for hours they didn’t work, and give them bonuses that they weren’t entitled to.

– In just one member state €152 million in animal welfare payments were found to be ineligible.

– A €4,000 mountain bike, a €10,000 donation to a local church and a €3,500 panoramic spyglass were claimed for as part of an €80,000 spending spree on unnecessary items.

– Part of a grant for SMEs in the UK was never passed on to SMEs

I can’t speak for the ‘IN’ campaign, but this is not what I would call ‘value for money.’


Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

The EU funded at least seven projects that were in violation of its own state aid laws

Dear Editor,

As your readers will be aware, the SSI steel plant in Redcar recently closed – this was an event that had a devastating impact on both the local economy and Teesside as a whole.

This plant closed for many reasons; one of these factors was that EU state aid laws hampered our government’s ability to support the plant and its employees.  SSI is only one of many examples of how state aid regulations have impacted British businesses.

I repeatedly called upon the government to support SSI in Redcar and I kept being told that this was not an option that was on the table.

I sit on the EU Budgetary Control Committee and I make a point of ensuring that I scrutinise the EU’s finances as much as I possibly can.   You can imagine my frustration this week when the EU Court of Auditors revealed that the EU funded at least seven projects that were in violation of its own state aid laws.

It seems to have been one rule for these EU projects and another for Redcar.


Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East