Budget response

UKIP’s Treasury Spokesman Jonathan Arnott has reacted to ‘a budget of tinkering and gimmicks’, which fails to deal with the real issues underpinning the British economy and fails to plan to take advantage of the opportunities provided by Brexit.Jonathan Arnott said “By failing to plan for Brexit, he plans to fail.

This is a Budget one of tinkering and gimmicks, hammering those who work hard to develop their future and our economy, without dealing with the real issues of planning for Brexit and beyond. To establish ours as a confident, prosperous, optimistic and secure nation post-Brexit takes greater leadership than was on display this afternoon in the House.

“In raising taxes on diesel cars this government is punishing drivers for listening to them. He’s done nothing for hard-working families, trying to pass off the planned increase in the personal tax allowance as something new. But thankfully he’s done the necessary U-turn on universal credit, a policy which wasn’t thought through and was targeting genuine people.”

“He’s talked about housebuilding and affordability, with a whopping £44 billion of taxpayers’ money being promised over 5 years – that’s the equivalent of at least 2p in the pound on Income Tax. This is excessive and it’s not being spent well. We answered the housebuilding question in our General Election Manifesto and showed exactly how we can build enough affordable homes, helping young people to get on the housing ladder and using brownfield sites not greenbelt land. I suggest the Chancellor would do well to read it. Building hundreds of thousands of new, eco-friendly modular houses so tnat young people are able to get their first step on the housing ladder at cost price (with appropriate restrictions on sales to help future generations) would make a massive and rapid difference. However, controlling immigration is still important to ensure that demand is reasonable.

“There was nothing to generate work in areas with plenty of boarded-up houses, nothing to bring jobs back to deprived areas and nothing to enable that housing pool to be opened up. The forgotten and abandoned working classes remain forgotten and abandoned.

“On housing, charging landlords extra for empty properties will unfairly hit landlords who do not qualify for exemptions whilst carrying out essential maintenance. The financial response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy was needed immediately afterwards, not months later with this Budget. It may or may not be too little, but it is certainly too late.

“Most of all, this Budget is one of missed opportunities. If the Chancellor truly cared about our national security, would he not have provided specific funds to reverse cuts to our police, our Border Force and our Armed Forces?

If the Chancellor truly wanted to prepare for Brexit, would he not now be announcing help for British companies through a Presumption of Buying British to replace the EU Procurement Directive, and by ensuring that we procure from British companies wherever it makes sense?”

Hammond’s gaffe insults struggling families

Following Philip Hammond’s gaffe saying there are no unemployed people, local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott has hit back.

“He should try telling young people and the unemployed in my constituency that there are no unemployed people”, said Mr Arnott, the Party’s Treasury spokesman.

“The Chancellor isn’t exactly a newcomer to politics – he must have known the significance of his words, but didn’t immediately correct them in any way. It’s typical of the arrogance of a Conservative Party which claims credit for job creation following the EU referendum – when in fact, a more competitive pound is a bigger reason for the recent fall in unemployment.

“I meet people all the time who genuinely struggle to find employment; it’s Philip Hammond’s job to help them not insult them.

“If he can’t understand the huge difficulties that persist for people in coastal communities, for young people struggling to get on the career ladder, or for people across huge swathes of the North and Midlands ravaged by the decades-long decline in our manufacturing, then quite frankly he’s in the wrong job. After a gaffe like that, no matter what he says in the Autumn Budget on Wednesday, he won’t be trusted.”

“We desperately need a Budget that will support small business growth, and a Brexit that will allow us to regain control over our borders and our fisheries. If we want to be a global leader post-Brexit, we need to roll up our national sleeves and make our nation truly competitive in the long run,” said Mr Arnott.

It is totally wrong that an unelected police officer is arbitrarily choosing not to enforce a law which carries a technical maximum sentence of life in prison

A furious MEP is calling for Mike Barton, the Chief Constable of Durham Police, to be sacked for introducing a scheme to ‘let off’ Class A street dealers.

“It is totally wrong that an unelected police officer is arbitrarily choosing not to enforce a law which carries a technical maximum sentence of life in prison,” said Jonathan Arnott, UKIP MEP for the North East.

“Heroin dealers should not, especially as a matter of policy, escape going to court. His new scheme will just let off those who deal in heroin and cocaine –  which is dealing in death.

“We all know what will happen – there will be ‘career’ dealers who get away without prosecution because when they’re caught, they happen to have a lesser amount on them. They will work the system.

“I’ve known, and worked to help, people whose lives have been ruined by heroin addiction. It’s not just that this decision sends out completely the wrong message. It’s not just that this could result in more people dying. It’s also that we have a top police officer in my constituency who is clearly refusing to enforce the law.

“Mike Barton is giving the green light to criminals. There’s one way to send out a much better message to criminals: he should be sacked,” said Mr Arnott.

UK citizens are the EU’s Magic Money Tree

Local MEP Jonathan Arnott  has pointed out that last year the UK paid the European Union £159 million per week more than it received back.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the total ‘membership fee’ was £363 million per week, but the net figure comes after taking into account our rebate and EU funding.

This means that, between the date of the referendum and leaving the EU in March 2019, the British taxpayer will have forked out – net – an incredible £22.8 billion to the European Union.

UKIP’s Treasury spokesman Jonathan Arnott MEP said: “To put these figures into context, the net membership fee alone is the equivalent of over two pence in the pound on income tax.

“This isn’t what people thought they were voting for in the EU referendum. We voted to end British cash going to the European Union, not for the tap to keep flowing. It truly beggars belief that even these eye-watering amounts of money aren’t giving Theresa May pause to think – she’s still agreeing to hand many billions more over to the EU in a so-called ‘divorce bill’, which hasn’t the slightest legal basis.

“British politicians often pretend they have a magic money tree, but the European Union actually has one. It’s called the British taxpayer.

“In a surprisingly political move by the Office for National Statistics, the figures for 2016 have been calculated differently to all previous years – removing the rebate, in an apparent bid to undermine figures used by Vote Leave during the referendum campaign,” he added.

Bull fighting cash shown the red card

Bull fighting cash from taxpayers’ money may be about to end – after North-East Euro-MP Jonathan Arnott successfully got an EU budget amendment passed.

Over the last three years animal lover Mr Arnott has been a consistent campaigner against British taxpayers’ money going to support bullfighting in other European countries.

And today (Wed) he walked into the record books – by being the first UKIP MEP to get a budget amendment passed by the European Parliament.

“I am delighted that this important animal welfare measure has gone through the European Parliament. Whatever you think about bullfighting, it is morally indefensible for British taxpayers’ money to be spent supporting it,” said Mr Arnott.

“I remember being taken to a bullfight as part of a school exchange trip when I was a teenager, and I’ll never forget the stench of blood or the baying of the crowd, cheering on the death of a defenceless animal. I just hope that this measure is not now watered down by the European Commission.”

Three bullfighting amendments written by Mr. Arnott were passed the European Parliament by votes of 385-242, 386-238 and 401-217 respectively.

It is believed to be the first time that a UKIP amendment of any kind has been approved by the full European Parliament, let alone on a Budgetary vote, although previous UKIP amendments have succeeded in committee stages or on changes to the European Parliament’s agenda.

The irony of a UKIP proposal being passed in the European Parliament is not lost on Mr. Arnott: “I’ve joked with some of my colleagues that I might be in trouble with the Party leadership if one of my proposals has actually gone through.

“Seriously though, I am disappointed that my other proposals for ‘victimless cuts’ to the EU budget have fallen on deaf ears, but it makes a change to be able to actually make some kind of genuine difference out here,” he said.

The amendments state: “Appropriations will not be used to support the breeding or rearing of bulls for bull fighting activities. Takes note of the Commission’s 2015 executability letter on this topic which stated: ‘This amendment modifies the legal provisions of the CAP, in particular Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and is therefore not executable.’ Demands, therefore, that proposals be initiated to change the relevant pieces of legislation to ensure no appropriations are used to support the breeding or rearing of bulls for fighting.”

Jonathan Arnott MEP has condemned the European Council for ordering 4,000 bottles of Champagne.

Local Euro-MP Jonathan Arnott has condemned the European Council for ordering 4,000 bottles of Champagne.

“This is taxpayers’ money and meanwhile so many of my constituents in the North East struggle to buy foodstuffs, never mind splash out on expensive fizz,” he said.

“When they divide up the EU’s assets, will this country be entitled to receive 500 of these bottles? And if so, can we please use them to raise a glass to toast Brexit and the end of these obscene wastes of taxpayers’ money for once and for all? “

Mr Arnott, EU Budget Committee member and UKIP’s Treasury spokesman, made his comments in the wake of the European Council putting out a tender for 1,000 bottles of champagne a year for a four year stint.

“The profligate waste of taxpayers’ money over the years is one of the reasons people in this country voted for Brexit but European bureaucrats are still acting in “Carry on Regardless” mode,” he said.

Statement on my appointment as Political Advisor and Treasury Spokesman

I’m delighted to have been appointed to the roles of Political Advisor and Treasury Spokesman by the new Party Leader Henry Bolton.

 

Promotions for Jim, Margot, and Mike, are well-deserved. I look forward to working with them as the Party must now move forward.

 

The Labour Party has become a threat to the Brexit which the people voted for, and which they supported in their Manifesto.

 

Sadly, the Conservative government has pursued a weak and insipid negotiation strategy which is weakening our national hand whilst emboldening an intransigent Brussels.

 

UKIP must now be back in the game, for the sake of our nation. To that end, we must rally around Henry as Party Leader, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.

Labour’s Brexit immigration lie

Statement on the UKIP leadership election result

First of all, I would like to offer my congratulations to Henry Bolton on winning the UKIP leadership election. His will be a difficult, and in many ways unenviable, task.

We must now get back to showing what we stand *for*, not what – or who – some wish us to stand against. The Party has made its decision. Barely one in five Party members supported the ideology which would have dragged this Party into the gutter. I am glad that this is the case.

There is a huge amount of work ahead for our new Leader. He will be given a window of opportunity by the media, because his election was unanticipated by them, in which to define his position.

He now has a huge challenge, and I’ll limit my comments for space reasons to just five of the biggest ones:

1. To persuade the many good UKIP members who left the Party over the last year to return.

2. To prove that UKIP is relevant to people across the country. That means that we need to start talking about the issues which people raise with us on the doorstep, not the other way way around: not just Brexit, but jobs, the economy, health, education, crime, housing, and everything that people care about which affects their everyday lives.

3. To put together a ‘top team’ which is able to appeal to a broad spectrum of the electorate, a team with the talent, ability and drive to make a difference.

4. To organise and professionalise the Party. This means that we have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot, as we have already done many times in just the past few days. It means that we need to take firm action, kicking out of the Party those who deserve to be kicked out. It also means that we need to become a credible and effective fighting force at elections once again.

5. To motivate our activists to get out and campaign. The lifeblood of any political party is its activists, and in UKIP perhaps even more so than most because we cannot rely upon a tradition of a century of past successes, of laurels to rest on. We need to enthuse our people with a drive and determination to go out there, work hard, and to succeed.

I have not agreed with everything which Henry Bolton said during the election campaign, but there are many things which I could support.

He has vast leadership experience, but this is not political in nature and it will be an incredibly difficult and steep learning curve for him to transfer these skills to the leadership of a political party.

This Party has been given another chance, one final opportunity to bounce back from the mistakes that have been made over recent times.

I truly hope that Henry Bolton will prove himself to be equal to this task. Please, Henry, deliver a party which I can once again feel that absolute sense of pride in representing. It’s felt so distant of late; please give us a future.

EU ‘daft’ spending plans slammed

Following the green light for an EU raft of “daft” spending proposals North East MEP Jonathan Arnott has hit out at the massive waste of taxpayers’ money.

The Eurocrats have earmarked €12 million to fund gap year teenagers with free ‘inter-railing’ around Europe and a further €2 million to help them volunteer in Africa for up to a year.

A further €800,000 is to be spent helping volunteers plant trees in the same continent and €3 million-plus on ‘ocean literacy classes’; teaching refugees to play football and on a butterfly monitoring project.

UKIP Euro-MP Mr Arnott, a member of the EU parliament’s budget committee, said: “This EU budget and so-called Brexit Bill are outrageous.”

“The EU is barking up the wrong tree if it thinks splurging taxpayers’ money on pointless projects will make it more popular.

“People are sick to death of the EU trying to bribe young people, and throwing money away. These outrageously daft proposals just reinforce why people were right to vote for Brexit,” he added.

The spending plans were amongst some 2,324 amendments to the EU’s draft Budget agreed by the Parliament’s Budget Committee this week. They will go to a full vote of the European Parliament on 25 October.