Britain’s EU contributions

I intended summing-up this week but will postpone to next week as David Daniel’s £10bn ‘corrective’ to Vote-Leave’s £350m p/wk is equally misleading (27/5/16).

Annual EU Budget contributions are apportioned between 28 member states and collected monthly in arrears through national taxation: approximately 12 per cent from Import Duties, 13 per cent from VAT receipts with the balance (75 per cent) based on Britain’s GNI (two months in arrears).

Britain’s 2014 budget contribution was calculated to be £18.8bn gross – that nominal ‘£350m/wk’ gross. Coincidentally, non-EU Norway pays £350m per annum to EU institutions!

Britain got a variable (decreasing) ‘rebate’ of nominally £4.8bn which is held back from VAT receipts owed to the EU – but not refunded to the taxpayer!

Thus, Britain’s nett annual payment due to the EU budget is nominally £14bn (£270 per week) however, by using creative accounting, the Treasury claims £10bn (£190 per week) nett of nett!

Britain’s £14bn nett contribution represents 11 per cent of the EU Budget of which every Euro comes from EU taxpayers – money doesn’t grow on CAP funded trees!

The EU budget graciously ‘gives Britain back’ £4bn as ‘free’ funding but that £4bn forms part of Britain’s £14bn nett budget contribution: it is not a refund for British tax-payers’ money is spent by Westminster as the EU dictates.

While it is thus technically and semantically correct that Britain sends ‘only’ the £10bn nett of nett to the EU, £14bn of British taxpayers’ money benefits the EU!

These £4bn ‘EU funds’ are paid in arrears, and in match-funded EU projects, the UK government fully finances the project up-front, only later getting back half in ‘match-funding’!

Likewise, research funds received from EU projects to which Norway, Switzerland and other non-EU members voluntarily contribute, also comes from taxpayers, but these do not appear in UK Treasury accounts, so David’s inclusion of £1.8bn EU research funds, making £8bn nett of nett, is mischievous!

Barry M Jones

Bixley Lane


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