Speaking from Strasbourg today, Liadh Ní Riada MEP for Ireland South has expressed her dismay at the outcome of talks between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission regarding delayed payments.
Ní Riada who is a co-ordinator on the Budget Committee said;
“There is an outstanding amount of 24.7 billion in payments to be made across the EU. This figure keeps snowballing at the expense of delaying payments which are owed on various EU programmes.
“In Ireland alone, there is 51 million Euro in claims still waiting to be paid, this affects our Universities, our Research Institutes, and SMEs to name but a few. Although the Council have finally agreed to reduce the backlog to 2 billion by the end of 2016, there is still the issue of suspended payments leaving regional stakeholders waiting for payment.
“This is a sticky tape solution to the real underlying problem which is member states are refusing to deal with lack of payments and funding. Basic budgeting at its worst. The ‘new’ 2014/2020 EU programs are left suspended and aggravating the impact of the Austerity Policies as they will now only start in 2016!
“It is a reality which will be burdened on our people who are relying on this funding to make a living and who are vital to our economic stability and growth. It highlights again the fact that the Council and Commission are more interested in bailing out banks then the people they are supposed to represent.”