Just when responsible people and governments are watching every penny you propose more expense,-
Starting this week with the biker's protest last Sunday, herewith the gist of my letter to the local press.
On Sunday some 60 groups across the country set off at the same time, operating a rolling 'road block' for about 20 miles before pulling off and dispersing. I went to Thrapston, junction of A45 and A14, so as to get to an early afternoon official engagement in Cambridgeshire in good time.
Bikers are astonished at the proposed measures including, for me the prize for lunacy, which is to prohibit bikes over 7 years old from urban areas. The proposers of this regulation do not understand that the great majority of "bikers" keep their machines in very good order, after all, it’s their necks!
As with so many other regulations the stupid EU bureaucrats who dreamed this up have absolutely no understanding of the activity they seek to restrict..
So my wife and I had a great day out on Sunday, talking to bikers and even being allowed to give them the "GO" at 1.00 pm. It was real pleasure to wave them on their way, all 150 of them; bikes, trikes and mopeds alike.
Strasbourg this week was dominated by two grand stand speeches.
Tuesday - Question time with Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Eurogroup and president of Luxembourg. and,Wednesday - Barroso, "State of the Union"
The main theme throughout was, and which tells all,-
"We need Community method, not a National Government one."
So There, and we then received the notes on,-
The 6 Pack or "goodbye economic sovereignty"
The so-called "six pack" are six linked measures which extend and reinforce economic governance: in short, they represent a massive increase in the ability of the undemocratic EU to tell the member states, especially those in the Euro zone, how to run their economies and to interfere and punish behaviour the generally faceless and unelected bureaucrats do not like.
It builds upon and gives teeth to the Stability & Growth Pact (SGP):
A new directive on national budgetary frameworks requires member states to achieve set fiscal standards and to report on how their budget plans conform with their Medium Term Objectives (MTO) set as part of their Stability or Convergence Programmes (SCP)
In doing so, member states must guarantee transparency which means they have to provide detailed budgetary information and guarantee its accuracy.
This information is assessed against a 'scoreboard' of indicators which are in turn used to provide an early warning system which flags up the need for preventive and corrective action under a new Excessive Imbalance Procedure (EIP). Once a member state is placed in EIP, it has to submit a corrective action plan with performance deadlines.
The excessive deficit procedure (EDP) requires member states to keep deficits below 3% of GDP and government debt below 60%. Failure to perform or make progress to these targets causes the member state to be placed in "EDP".
Once placed in EDP. Euro-zone countries can be required to pay a non-interest bearing deposit of 0.2% of GDP. On a recommendation by the Commission, with limited Council powers to block it, this can be converted into a fine which can be increased for repeat offences
Sufficient repeat offences can cause the fine to be as much as 1% of GDP.
Though it is all written in the most complicated, jargon-laden language, the bottom line seems to be this. Member states will:
- be set economic, budgetary and fiscal targets
- report on performance against those targets
- be told what action they have to take if they fail to meet those targets
- fined for non-performance.
Clearly in these circumstances, the freedom of action of the member state government has disappeared and the views of the electorate are irrelevant!
I copy the above without apology for it is the blue print for the horrors to come. Each of these was the subject of a separate vote on Wednesday and all were adopted by majorities ranging from 354 - 269 up to 554 – 90.
The rapporteur for the first, Ms Wortmann-Kool was presented with a bouquet when the result was announced. And a burst of applause.
Is that enough for one week?
Derek Clark MEP Strasbourg 29th Sept 2011