The EU is job-shredding machine

EU Unemployment Commissioner and Hungarian economist Laszlo Andor: Great headline, Laszlo, but how are you going to do it?

EU Unemployment Commissioner and Hungarian economist Laszlo Andor: Great headline, Laszlo, but how are you going to do it?

I have been astonished to hear the preposterous argument from the Lib-Dems – Clegg in his speech yesterday, Martin Harwood on Daily Politics yesterday, Bill Newton Dunn on BBC Radio Derby last evening – that “We need to be in the EU for jobs”, and even (from Clegg) that “UKIP voted against EU programmes that create UK jobs”.  Just which ones were they, Nick?

The €uro currency has rightly been described as “A Bankruptcy Machine”.  But the EU itself is a Job-Destruction Machine.  I have already deconstructed the Lib-Dem lie that “3½million jobs depend on our EU membership”.  As they know perfectly well (or ought to know), the jobs depend on trade, not membership, and the trade will continue after Independence Day.  And in any case, if 3½ million British jobs depend on UK exports to Europe, you can bet that 5 million jobs on the continent depend on their exports to the UK.  We’re their largest customer in the world, bar none.

I’ve been a member of the European parliament’s Unemployment Committee for many years, though to be fair as UKIP’s Industry & Energy Spokesman, I focus on the Industry Committee rather than the Unemployment Committee (my good colleague Derek Clark on the other hand, is also on Unemployment, but attends and votes assiduously).  Month by month the Unemployment Committee votes through measure after measure that damages employment.  The two classics are the Working Time Directive and the Temporary Workers Directive.  But there are now dozens of these measures.

They’re presented as “Employment Protection”, and it’s easy for Europhiles to spin a positive story about them.  But in the short term, they create huge hiring disincentives (especially for the SMEs we love to talk about).  They raise immediate barriers to entry into the labour market.  They increase employment costs.  And in the medium term, they stifle growth and competitiveness, and reduce GDP and overall employment opportunities.  A Job Destruction Machine.

I remember saying to other MEPs on the Committee: “Look, you’ve just voted for something that will destroy jobs in your home country”.  And the reply?  “OK, Roger, we know you worry about that, but we’re building Europe!”.

Then there’s my specialist subject, energy.  But don’t take my word for it.  Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani says energy prices in Europe “are creating an Industrial Massacre”.  Not my words.  His words.  But he’s right.  We’re driving jobs and investment out of the EU altogether, often to jurisdictions with lower environmental standards.  It’s a lose-lose deal.  Ask the 500+ workers who lost their jobs at the Alcan Lynemouth plant as a direct result of green taxes. Ask the 123 workers who lost their jobs at the Kingsnorth power station in Kent, because of the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive. Or ask BMW, who chose to locate a new plant in the USA, not the EU, explicitly because of energy prices.

Then there’s the EU’s “free movement of workers” principle, which allows citizens of much poorer countries to come freely to richer member-states, attracted by higher wages – or in many cases, by higher welfare and healthcare standards.  These new arrivals clearly affect job prospects for existing citizens and residents (it’s well said that those who suffer most from the next wave of immigration are the last wave of immigrants).  But they also cause “wage compression”, driving down wages, especially for lower-paid, lower-skilled workers.

Finally, there’s the reckless and disastrous €uro currency experiment, which has created conditions in Southern Europe which we haven’t seen since the Great Depression.  Youth unemployment close to 60% in Greece, and not much better in Portugal, Spain, Italy.  A whole generation of Mediterranean youth thrown on the scrap-heap in the name of European Integration.  It’s little satisfaction for us Eurosceptics to say “We told you so fifteen years ago”.  But we did.  And they wouldn’t listen.

In the EU, policy area after policy area has done huge damage to employment, growth and prosperity.  To hear the Lib-Dems (and other EU apologists) today telling us that “We need the EU for jobs” is simply breath-taking effrontery.

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20 Responses to The EU is job-shredding machine

  1. Thomas Fox says:

    All this is true Roger, but is voters historical adherence to Tory or Labour more to do with concern for political stability over government policy?
    To untangle VAT and CAP from this slimy EU green Octopus is one great mammoth task that needs the best UKIP Ministers undevided attention!

  2. Flyinthesky says:

    A bit more on BMW here:
    Without the paywall.
    Some interesting energy price comparisons, notably BMW will be paying around a sixth of the electricity price it would be paying in the eu.

  3. omanuel says:

    From a purely analytical, detached point of view, the consequence of pinching off the exhaust of CO2 is to slow down or stop the economic engine.

    I publicly explained that to the President of NAS and the Space Science Board in 2008.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      The severely detached are in our Gov…and yours

    • omanuel says:

      Some climate scientists are now admitting the sensitivity of Earth’s climate to CO2 was overestimated.

      Regretfully, the root problem is not sensitivity of Earth’s climate to CO2, but sensitivity of the entire solar system to the Sun’s pulsar core:

      No member of the UN’s IPCC, the US NAS or the UK RS has accepted an open invitation to publicly challenge nine pages of precise experimental data (pp 19-27) that falsify the very foundation of standard, consensus models of stars and nuclei.

  4. Flyinthesky says:

    I think the movers and shakers in the eu need to focus on the absolute: compete, protect or perish.
    Compete within the constraints of eu employment and environmental regulations is impossible, Protect, well there’s a dirty word nowadays, the great ponzi must be maintained to satiate the corporates, they’ll just upsticks and relocate to the most advantageous country, so perish it is then.

  5. Good blog Roger.Although I`m just biding my time before the next report for the UK demonstrating that uncontrolled immigration benefits us and employment of UK citizens is unaffected. I would imagine it will come out the week before the Euro election along with a 5 year plan to increase tractor production and plant more turnips.

  6. ahey2013 says:

    I just can’t imagine what goes on in whatever it is that passes for the minds of politicians like Clegg and EU bureaucrats & MEPs. Do they really imagine they can legislate to create jobs or tax and subsidise to create jobs? Well they do seem to, but of course they can’t! It’s obvious that anything they try too do will only make matters worse. More legislation invariable adds compliance costs and thus damages growth & employment. The money for one industries subsidy has to come from taxing of something else. Green energy may create a few more jobs (most of them in China), but expensive energy obviously destroys far more jobs than are ever going to be created.

    If they really wanted to help the economy by far the most useful thing they could do would be to stop legislating, stop taxing, stop subsidising, shutdown the entire EU & 75% of national government bureaucracies and go and get proper jobs themselves.

  7. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Here’s a plan:
    We can make people we don’t really like go through visa application…till they get totally p….off. (may take microseconds). We can let all the ones that we like stroll in easily and do their business (bad/good). That feels nice does it not?

    So those russians who have business to do here might need to move their business(es), Might take a few minutes with databases and related. Is that how you might get the London money spinner shift to…errrm.. Brussels/Frankfurt. Moscow…now there is an idea.

    Oh dear…money again

  8. Jane Davies says:

    Haven’t we all been here before? Each government lurches from one disastrous policy to the next and yet not one minister for this or that seems to learn from the previous cock-ups. For example anyone with half a brain knows that “austerity” measures which take money out of every ones pockets therefore reducing their spending power, of course with the exception of the 1% mega rich, stifles the economy and delays recovery.

    • catalanbrian says:

      Jane, I think our politics don’t coincide but you have hit the nail on the head with your comment on “austerity”, which is perhaps the most dangerous economic policy ever embarked upon. It was the cause of the depression of the 1930s and was a major factor in the lead up to WW2.- and now they are trying it again with similarly disastrous results. The measures introduced across Europe, including the UK, have made any recovery from the 2008/9 crisis nigh on impossible whilst at the same time protecting the banks and financial institutions that caused the crisis in the first place. And don’t rely on UKIP to solve the problem. They have no answers either, although they do have the luxury of not being in power which enables them to snipe endlessly from their self built lofty position.

  9. Richard111 says:

    Well, are we not seeing the destructive abuse of Democracy by implementing the ‘one man one vote’ system? The original Democracy required you showed yourself to be ‘a mover and a shaker’ before you had the right to vote. Now, simply promising the monkeys free peanuts, guarantees the majority election of the orang-utans.

  10. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Putin suddenly creates jobs for Naval Salvage folk and the head of the USA brain dead sends some aircraft fixers to Poland & Lituania. I suspect the US boys will kill a few of their own first (and/or ours) before getting things much more messy.

  11. Thomas Fox says:

    The UK is trapped within this EU which controls energy/food/the way we live so by capturing the London Banking it will have achieved total dominance of everything !
    I am a UKIP voter but after leaving this conglomerate will it be difficult to disentangle the Brussels Green octopus from national government ?

    • Roger Helmer MEP says:

      A large part of the problem will be solved simply by leaving — for example we’ll stop paying Brussels £53 million a day, and we’ll not abide by subsequent Brussels edicts. But there will be a substantial and technical task in unwinding EU legislation, much of it covering areas where we would probably have regulated ourselves, though not in the same way. This should keep Westminster occupied for several years.

  12. Hugh Davis says:

    Roger, more ammunition for you at the GWPF on the green energy/job loss front:-

    • Jane Davies says:

      A seriously worrying situation…it will be interesting to see if Mr Radcliffe gets a response, he best not hold his breath though while he waits……..

  13. tatiehead says:

    I often wonder what is going on, In world war 2 Hitler in Germany tried his damnest to take over all of the continent of Europe & the British Isles. He did not succed, Now we have the European Parliament. Germany is the major economic and political power of the European continent and a historic leader in many cultural, theoretical and technical fields. Is this not what Hitler wanted but this time it is Angela Dorothea Merkel, Angela Merkel has been described as the de facto leader of the European Union.

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