By Tim Montgomerie
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The European Parliament had originally wanted an increase in the EU's budget of 5.2% but an agreement was struck at 3am this morning which should limit the increase to 2.02%.
"Our consistent argument in favour of a freeze in the budget has succeeded in preventing an increase that would have been outlandish and unacceptable in such tough economic times. The Prime Minister greatly helped and led the way by stating early in the process that a standstill had to be the goal. He then rallied other key nations to that view, and in negotiations that pressure bore down heavily on the parliament's unrealistic ambitions. To trim spending is the only responsible way when sovereign debt is undermining the euro and the global economy. Our persistence is winning over other groups and MEPs to our philosphy that the EU needs to spend just as much effort on saving funds as spending them."
Of course 2.02% is better than 5.2% but the EU is still going to get more from British taxpayers at a time when UK budgets for the police, army and roads are being cut.