The right to levy taxes is the mark of a country's sovereignty24TH NOVEMBER 2010: THIS was my unsuccessful attempt to contribute to a debate on the 2011 Budget in the European Parliament under the Catch the Eye procedure.
If I had been called to speak, I would have said:
"Discussion about which countries are net donors and which countries are net recipients was described as 'absurd' by Mr. Verhofstadt.
The poor and the dispossessed in net donor countries know that net contributions from their countries are taken from them as tax or as withheld services.
We must not presume that all of the populations of net donor countries are wealthy.
We have heard suggestions for the EU having the right to levy taxes in its own name. The right to levy taxes is the mark of a country's sovereignty. An EU power of taxation would be a sign of the transfer of sovereignty to the European Union.
The role of the Council in agreement to the Budget has been described as though it were simply a hindrance.
The Council represents - however badly - the interests of member states. It represents what is left of national sovereignty. Remove its power over the budget and we say goodbye to national independence."