The self-defeating nature of the European Union’s economic policies were thoroughly debunked today in a series of speeches by Andrew Brons MEP, which won him significant and unexpected support from his colleagues, our correspondent in Brussels reports.
After managing to “catch the eye” of the mini-plenary chair during its sitting this morning, Mr Brons quickly moved into top gear with a discussion on the rights of individual nations to determine their own economic policies.
“Economic policy should be in the hands of member states, but even from an EU perspective, its economic policy is seriously flawed,” Mr Brons said.
“The doomed Euro-experiment must be abandoned and national currencies must be allowed to find levels appropriate to the demand for their exports and imports.
“Interest rates must once again be set by the seventeen Euro-zone states according to the needs of their distinctive economies,” he continued.
“The EU and its member states must treat Globalisation as the threat that it really is to the developed world.
“Manufacturing industry must be rebuilt and protected from unfair competition from emerging economies like China with its undervalued currency, suppressed wage rates and appalling working conditions.
“We should end the policy of subsidising banks in the vain hope that they might lend some of their ill-gotten gains. Reflation must be brought about by government spending money into circulation and not by banks creating credit and lending into circulation,” Mr Brons said to the general agreement of many of his collegues.
Then, in a later debate on possible changes to the VAT, Mr Brons once again managed to “Catch the Eye” and gain a second speaking turn..
“The Rapporteur describes a lack of harmonisation as a particular problem or shortcoming of VAT. I cannot agree that this a problem at all,” Mr Brons said.
“Taxes are levied primarily to gain revenue and secondarily to have economic or social effects.
“Taxes are not levied to look pretty or harmonious. Each country has its own spending agenda and perceived economic and social needs and they should determine tax rates. We should not levy taxes for the sake of doing so or so they are the same as those in neighbouring countries.
“I would not reform VAT; I would replace it with a simple but variable sales tax.
“Flat rate VAT is a regressive tax because it is paid disproportionately by the less affluent with their high marginal consumption. The zero rated and exempt items make VAT less regressive than it would otherwise be,” he said.
“However, I suspect that these would become victims of harmonisation.
Furthermore, harmonisation will be impossible to escape, if it is effected by a Regulation rather than a Directive.”
Once again, Mr Brons’s comments drew a significant amount of assent.
His final speech of the day, to a debate the “American Jobs’ Bill” actually drew a loud cheer from one of the other MEPs.
“Whilst I have doubts about the effectiveness of the American Jobs’ Bill, if enacted, it is heartening that the President (Obama) understands the problem if not the solution,” Mr Brons said.
“President Obama, in his press conference announcing the Bill, summed up the problem succinctly: ‘In Maine there is a bridge that is in bad shape with bits falling off it. Meanwhile, we’ve got millions of laid-off construction workers who could be busy rebuilding roads, bridges and schools.’
“We nationalists have a saying: ‘Whatever is physically possible, must be financially possible.’ If it is not, then the financial system is at fault.
“Any reflationary injection must be spent into circulation and must not be credit created by the banks and lent into circulation.
“The problem with all such reflationary measures is that injections of money precede – sometimes by years – the resulting increase in GDP and are therefore inflationary. This effect might be reduced by partly deferred payments to recipients of reflationary spending,” he concluded to the cheers—an event which must be a first for any nationalist in the EU parliament.