MEPs brushed off concerns of a populist revolution to approve a bank-busting rise in the contributions hard-pressed taxpayers will be expected to funnel into their overflowing coffers.
They also voted through an extravagant 3.3 per cent backdated pay rise for EU officials, despite working families in many member states having suffered almost a decade of crushing austerity and stagnating wages at the hands of the Brussels bloc.
Eurosceptics today branded the charade a “farcical pantomime” and said it was further evidence that the featherbedded euro elite are now hopelessly detached from the lives of ordinary people.
One blasted: “The EU’s Christmas stocking is already bursting, but I suppose after 2016 they could use some good news.”
The shock move, which comes just days before Italians are set to vote in a crunch referendum which could spark a eurozone crisis, will only add to the growing fury against the aloof and elitist EU project.
It is bound to make prime minister Matteo Renzi’s last-ditch bid to persuade people to back his constitutional reforms even more forlorn, with anti-EU feeling set to power the ‘no’ vote to victory.
At a session in the European parliament earlier today MEPs approved a proposed increase to the EU budget of 1.7 per cent, meaning it will be £2billion (2.5bn euros) larger than last year.
British taxpayers will have to stump up an extra £260 million next year as a result, on top of our bank breaking net budget contribution of around £8.5 billion.
But whilst the prospect of hard-pressed families having to stump up even more cash for the euro vanity project is less than funny, the debate on the budget itself quickly descended into farce.
Ukip MEP Jonathan Arnott was greeted with boos and calls of “oh no we don’t” as he compared the whole EU project to a pantomime.
And one Italian representative had the cheek to suggest that British politicians should not get a say on the budget even though the UK will continue to pay into Brussels coffers until at least 2019.
Addressing the chamber, Mr Arnott said: “As it’s Christmas, let’s compare this to an annual pantomime. The budget committee, the Commission, the European Parliament, we all vote for more EU, more spending, more taxpayers money being thrown at this project.”
Referring to a Ukip proposal to make cuts to the EU budget, he quipped: “Saving money for ordinary people, well that makes us the pantomime villain, so you lot all boo.”
After some MEPs in the chamber booed, he carried on saying “oh yes you do”, to which they replied in true pantomime tradition “oh no we don’t”.
Blasting the largesse of the EU, he added: “Labour and Conservatives vote against whatever we come up with and that shows sometimes how much they seem to care about saving money for ordinary people.
“And everybody lives happily ever after. Everybody, of course, except the general public who have to pay for all of it despite in the UK’s case having voted for Brexit.
“I sometimes don’t know whether this is a pantomime or a Kafka-esque farce. Well, the British public voted for Brexit and we’re going to write the last chapter, we’re going to play the final act, and we’re going to lower the curtain on this tragedy.”
The budget increase comes after EU officials voted themselves a massive 3.3 per cent backdated pay rise, despite the fact that wages have stagnated and even fallen in most EU member states.
And last month Brussels ordered British taxpayers to hand over an extra £700 million, supposedly due to a treasury blunder which meant the Government paid a smaller than usual membership bill in the spring.