Monday, 11 May 2009

Tied Hands of Government

Independent Labour Peer Lord Stoddart of Swindon has exposed how the British Government is forced, again, to whip out its begging bowl and go crawling to Brussels for permission to look after its own people.

Government Forced to Seek Permission from the EU To Come to the Rescue of Homeowners in Britain

A written question from the independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has exposed the extent to which the European Commission controls the actions of the British Government. In December last year, the Government announced its proposal for the introduction of a Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme intended to assist homeowners who may be having trouble paying their mortgages through deferment of up to 70 per cent of their interest payments.

At the time, no mention was made of the fact that the Government needed the permission of the Commission to introduce the scheme. Lord Stoddart asked the Government why it was necessary to seek Commission approval. Baroness Andrews for the Government said: “The EC Treaty provides that a member state must not put a proposed state aid measure into effect until the Commission has made a decision approving the aid.”

Lord Stoddart, commenting on the Government’s response, said: “It really is deeply worrying to see just how impotent the British Government has become. We find that a purely internal measure designed to help people in Britain hard hit by the credit crunch to keep their homes, requires the permission of unelected officials in Brussels. Of even greater concern is the delay this causes. By my calculation, it has taken some five months for the Commission to give its blessing. I wonder how many people in that lengthy delay may have lost their homes or been forced into huge debt?

“It really does beg the question, can we still call ourselves a nation, when it is quite clear that our Government has lost so much of the power to govern.”

It is, frankly, shameful that we find ourselves in a position where an elected British government has to seek permission from unelected bureaucrats in Brussels to implement a policy designed to help vulnerable British citizens. Problems like this are a direct result of the system we have built for ourselves.

Can we leave yet?

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