30 December 2010

EU: External Action Service to cost £8 billon

And that is only the beginning of this vanity project as budgets - especially in the EU - have a natural tendency to grow. As in most of our half-democracies politicians are able to spend other people's money liberally as they are only subject to the slightest degree of democratic oversight and accountable to no one while in power. This applies also to the international institutions such as the EU, only more so as they executive is not even elected by anyone and therefore even less constrained in its urge to spend and regulate.
To give you a flavor of this 'project' a few numbers may suffice: there will be 137 EU embassies, 500 staff will be at headquarters in Brussels while 39 lucky Eurocrats will while away their time in a political hot-spot such as Mauritius. More than 100 officials will be better paid than the British Foreign Secretary who earns a paltry £134,000 (and is required to pay tax on it).
We leave it to the reader to decide whether this tremendous duplication of diplomatic services would ever have been given the go-ahead if the citizen-taxpayers would have had to give their agreement. Let us not forget, that in the age of the Internet and cheap communication embassies tend to be massively overstaffed in any case.

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