EU Anti-Fraud Chief admits fraud is on the rise in the EU budget

A UK Independence MEP caused a stir in the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee recently after he obtained a startling admission from the head of the European Union’s anti-fraud body – that fraud within the EU budget is rising.

Giovanni Kessler, the Director General of OLAF, was appearing before the European Parliament Committee speaking to a report which showed that they issued a record number of recommendations for legal action and prosecution against fraudsters last year.

UKIP’s North East MEP Jonathan Arnott asked “Mr. Kessler, you tell us that reports of potential fraud are at their highest level and that it is set to rise still further in 2014.  You also tell us that you are issuing more recommendations because you are finding more evidence of actual fraud.  Now it seems to me that that increase must be the result of one of two things.  Either it is that the actual level of fraud is increasing year upon year, or it is that the success rate in detecting that fraud is getting better year on year…I know I’m asking you to speculate here, but which of those is the most accurate?”

In his response, Mr. Kessler said “Mr. Arnott put me a simple question…let me give you a simple answer.  It is a bit of a mix of both.  We had more incoming information and more recommendations.”

Jonathan Arnott said “Taxpayers would be alarmed to learn that OLAF is detecting hundreds of cases of fraud each year, with no-one knowing the full extent of the problem.  Worse still, although they’re catching more it seems that fraud is on the rise.  Even a single case of fraud would still be too much, because it’s our taxes that are being wasted when it happens.”

For the full question and answer, please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3cxuZl1ofU

Hypocritical Labour should stop conning voters over Cost of Living increase claim

The Labour Party should stop conning voters into believing that the cost of living has increased since they left office, according to UKIP’s North East Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.

A report published by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) crushes Ed Miliband’s claim that hard-working voters are worse off since Labour left Downing Street in 2010.

It shows inflation was almost double average wage rises between 2010 and 2013.

But the report, by leading economist Dr Tim Morgan, also reveals average salaries in Labour’s last three years of power – 2007 to 2010 – rose by 5.8%, while inflation was at 10%.

UKIP’s local MEP, Jonathan Arnott, said “There is a serious cost of living crisis across the UK which urgently needs to be addressed. However, the elephant in the room for the Labour Party, according to this new report, is that real living standards started to decline whilst Gordon Brown was Prime Minister.

“Labour have no idea how severely their ill thought through increases in green taxes throughout their time in power has effected pensioners and families throughout winter. In addition, it seems ludicrous to me that those who want to work hard, and manage to get a job on minimum wage, have to start paying income tax straight away.

“UKIP does not want to see anyone who earns the minimum wage pay a penny piece in income tax”.

CPS director, Tim Knox added “The deterioration in living standards is a clear consequence of Labour’s mismanagement of the economy”.

Save Stockton’s Shops Says Local MEP

Car parking charges should be scrapped for the first two hours across Stockton in the run up till Christmas, in drastic attempt to draw shoppers back to the streets according to UKIP’s North East Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.

According to figures released by the Local Data Company (LDC), the North-East is the only region in the country to have shown a decline in its fortunes with an increase in shop vacancy rates by 0.4% to 16.4%.

Stockton is the area with the fifth highest rate of empty shops in Britain, with 23.9% vacant, according to figures compiled by the Local Data Company (LDC).

Arnott, the region’s local MEP, said “The report highlights how the North East’s once thriving high streets are being left to the dust bins of history whilst the rest of the country moves forward.

“Drastic action is needed to attract businesses and customers from the convenient out-of-town shopping malls and back to the high street, which were once the life blood of communities right across the country.

“In Stockton, scrapping the first two hours parking charge would be a step in the right direction to draw greater business interest into the local area and shoppers into the town”.

Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company, said: “The first half of 2014 has shown a positive improvement in vacancy rates across the country both by geography and location type.

“What is very clear, however, is that this positive trend is not universal and hides significant variances.”

The North-east is the part of Britain where retail parks are performing best against high streets, with 18.6% of high street shops empty, compared to 7.8% in retail parks.

Arnott continued, “Yet again, a worrying pattern is emerging; whilst the rest of the country’s fortunes improve, the North East is left behind. I would urge councillors, not just in Stockton, but right across the North East to consider reducing car parking charges in a small step to attract business and punters back to the high street”.

UKIP’s North East Euro MP slams the coalition for having ‘no idea’ following North East unemployment stats

UKIP’s local Euro MP Jonathan Arnott has hit out after figures released today shows that unemployment is still rising in the North East despite the region already having the highest levels in the country.

The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics, shows that there were 132,000 people out of work in the region between May and July this year – an increase of 1,000 on the previous quarter.

Arnott said “Yet again, our region is shown as the region which has the highest rate of unemployment in the country.

“Over the course of the last week I visited a foodbank in Redcar, and an employability resource centre in Blyth; both are doing fantastic work for those who need help and support. However, the broad consensus prevailed that those in Westminster have no idea whatsoever as to how to get those who are unemployed in the North East into training and work.

The region still has the highest unemployment rate in the country, with one in ten people without a job.

“We have to dual the A1 in this region to make the region a more attractive proposition for business, scrap income tax on minimum wage jobs to make work pay, and provide greater levels of investment to manufacturing companies to rejuvenate our once thriving industry”.

Scrap Hartlepool wind turbine plans says the town’s UKIP Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott

Plans which would see the highest wind turbines throughout the whole of England and Wales built in Hartlepool should be scrapped according to the town’s UKIP Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.

Permission is being sought for three single turbines over 200m (655ft) high at Graythorp Industrial Estate, Brenda Road West Industrial Estate and Tofts Road West.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change said it believed these would be the highest in England and Wales.

Arnott said “In the UK we have an energy crisis. I completely understand that in 21st century Britain we should be looking at sustainable energy sources, however, it is ludicrous that we consistently look to expensive wind farms as the most efficient option.

“Whist wind turbines may suit rich landowners who can afford to have them on their estate, it will not suit many pensioners and families across Hartlepool who will feel the brunt of the subsidy on their energy bills, leaving them with the stark choice this winter between heating and eating.

 According to The Poverty Site, in 2009, 4 million homes were classified as being in fuel poverty (18% of all households in England) – households are considered by the Government to be in ‘fuel poverty’ if they would have to spend more than 10% of their household income on fuel to keep their home in a ‘satisfactory’ condition.

“We should instead be investing in alternative technologies such as tidal and nuclear power. Both of which are both far more sustainable and efficient, and would go a considerable distance in making energy bills cheaper in comparison to Labour’s proposed phoney price freeze”. 

Dualling the A1 is the road to growth for the North East

Following reports by the BBC that the cost to dual the A1 throughout Northumberland would come in at just under £600 million, UKIP’s North East MEP, Jonathan Arnott, said the following: “£600 million to dual the A1 is a price worth paying.Billions of pounds is set to be spent on the HS2 vanity project which would ultimately see just a few minutes shaved off for commuters, and quite possibly, even more work heading towards London from the North of England leaving our region worse off”.

“Dualling the A1 would be the road to growth for the North East. The road would undoubtedly make the region a much more attractive proposition for business, which is good for jobs and growth in the area”.