|Tuesday 10 November 2009
The letter from Peter Harvey in last week’s paper gives a completely wrong figure for the cost of the European Union to the UK. The net cost is given in government figures as about £10 million per day, not £45 million. I would suggest that instead of UKIP’s website (as he recommends) people look at Table 3.1, on page 22, of the Government’s annual European Community Finances White Paper of 10th September 2008 (Cm 7462). You can find it on the Web at European Community Finances.
It’s easy to spray overegged figures around but the fact of the matter is that the European Union performs very useful functions for us and does so on a Europe-wide basis. It does things we could not get effectively done on at Westminster (for example, coordinating and negotiating trade relations for the whole 27 member countries with the rest of the world).We are far more effective as a member of the EU than we could be alone.
Chairman, European Movement, Sussex Branch
Thursday 25 March 2010
EU’ve never had it so expensive
I had a letter printed in the Shoreham Herald, saying UKIP says this country pays the EU £40 million every day.
I got a response to that from one woman the following week, saying that we pay the EU only £10 million a day.
Well, I have read recently that, according to the Taxpayers’ Alliance, we in this country, this year, will be paying the EU £45 million every day.
And they estimate that we, the British people, in 2011 will be paying the EU £50 million plus every day.
I would like to have it known that these are not my figures but the figures of the Taxpayers’ Alliance.
Membership of “powerful” European organisation is vital
Mr Peter Harvey (Eu’ve never had it so expensive, 25 March) suggests that I look at the Taxpayers’ Alliance figures on their website for the cost of the European Union to British taxpayers.
In our previous correspondence I had referred people who wanted to know the net cost of the EU to the statistics published by H M Treasury every year. In 2008 it was £3,329 million.
The Taxpayers’ Alliance give a number of highly imaginative figures for additional expenses which they say are caused by membership of the EU – for example, “VAT and EU Tax Fraud”. It’s a novel idea that crime is a government expense; you might just as well say the Mint is responsible for bank robberies.
One large component is “the cost of complying with EU regulation”. This suggests that because we have agreed to make regulations on something jointly with the rest of the EU it is somehow unnecessary.
EU regulations are among the most necessary we have – we need clean fresh food, protection for consumers, control of cross-border crime etc. If we didn’t decide on them in Brussels we would have to do all the work at home, no doubt monitoring what other countries were doing.
I’m sure I could cobble together some splendid imagined figures for the cost.
If you look at another HM Treasury website page you will see the piechart which sets out what the Government spends our money on.
A minnow like the EU cost is not separately stated. We spend, for example, £41 billion a year just paying interest on government debt. This is just to put the cost in context – I am not suggesting that the fact that we are broke is a good reason for wasting money.
But it is certainly a good reason for maintaining our membership of the EU, with its free market of 500 million consumers open to us.
Our membership of this powerful machine is essential to our economic survival.
European Movement Sussex Branch
Jarvis Lane, Steyning