Anneliese Dodds MEP

The South East's Voice in Europe

Conservatives cost the South East a fortune

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Today Anneliese voted with fellow Labour MEPs in the European Parliament on next year's European Union budget.

She voted against a number of measures which would have seen the overall budget increase, and tried to secure some additional funding from within the savings to boost vital research work for the South East of England.

Unfortunately, the Conservative-led UK government failed to secure this additional funding increase for research -- and failed even to prevent spending from rising elsewhere in the budget.

The UK leads the way in producing innovative research that brings real benefits to people's lives, and nowhere more so than the South East. Universities and research institutions across the region have produced groundbreaking research, like the University of Kent's INTERLINK project to improve long-term care for older people, and the Culham Centre in Oxfordshire which is exploring how to deliver carbon-free energy for the future.

This work, and lots more like it across the region, has been made possible thanks to the EU's research budget. The UK has done particularly well in this area, receiving €6 billion (£4.8 billion) over the last 7 years. That's more money per person than any other country in Europe, except the Netherlands.

Yet an increasingly isolated Conservative-led government has failed to secure an additional rise in the part of the EU budget which is so critical to the UK's future. At the same time, they failed to stop the budget from rising in other areas -- like funding for the overall administration of the European Union, and funding for the controversial Common Agricultural Policy.

Anneliese said: "Every other national government argues for its national interests within the EU budget: the French argue for the Common Agricultural Policy, Belgium and Luxembourg argue for more funding for overall EU administration, and so on. But our Conservative-led government has lost so much influence in Europe, it was unable to protect increased funding for the real jewel in the crown for the UK from the EU budget - research funding. Their negotiating stance led to the worst of all worlds: more money spent on those things we've been arguing against, and less money for an area in which the UK is a world leader.

"I will continue to fight for an EU budget which is prudent and reduces wasteful spending, but which promotes growth through the research budget and other areas. I only wish David Cameron was competent enough to pursue our national interests in the same way".

Anneliese also voted for the EU budget not to be used to support bullfighting via agricultural funds, and for the wasteful 'second seat' for the parliament, in Strasbourg, to be abolished.

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