It’s time our country was put before EU

THE letter from Mr Stephen Hardy gives those of us who see the European Union for what it really is, a splendid opportunity to state a few facts.

For many years pressure has been put on various British Governments by Euro-sceptics to carry out a cost analysis of membership. To date such debates have been refused.

It is well known that the UK loses about £50 million a day (Office of Statistics) to the wasteful and corrupt EU whose accounts have not been signed off for over a decade.

We are constantly told that the “benefits” are worth these loses but what these “benefits” are has never been revealed.

They cannot be peace because numerous tragic conflicts still cost the lives of our Forces.

They cannot be trade because we have a trade deficit with the EU.

They cannot be jobs -look at the fishing industry.

Benefits there are in plenty if you are an MEP or a Eurocrat, but when Chief Accountant Marta Andreasen spoke out about the Brussels Gravy Train she was abused, threatened and lost her job. She is now working for UKIP.

As an apologist for the EU, Mr Hardy is a member of an endangered species.

The Euro is about to create chaos and bloodshed across Europe.

It is only because vested interests cling on to power and wealth that the Euro and its spawner, the EU, are still in existence.

The problem is that no Government, especially the present undemocratic coalition, has the will to deal with this most important issue for fear of upsetting any apple carts in party interests. It is time country was put first.

Flora Jenner

Burgh Hill, Hurst Green

County’s superfast broadband sham

I READ with interest your headlines about ‘superfast’ broadband apparently coming to all who live in East Sussex (Observer, March 30).

However I suspect that the reality of this is actually a lot less positive.

East Sussex CC has been trumpeting the initiative in their ‘Your County’ magazine, which was shoved through our letterbox with all the other junk mail recently.

According to them, they need our “help to get the East Sussex network up to speed”. Obviously then this upgrade is only an aspiration, and in fact it requires people to register with BT to drum up enough support for it.

On following up their registration procedure links I discovered that the whole initiative is pretty much a sham. I checked out the likelihood of my local exchange being upgraded (Northiam) and discovered that there are currently no plans for it to be improved before 2017 at the earliest.

Upon digging a bit deeper (by entering the names of other towns and villages) I discovered that almost the whole local rural area in East Sussex is effectively excluded, with the website reporting the same disappointing outcome.

But input the county’s big towns - Eastbourne, Lewes, Bexhill and Hastings - it shows them comfortably set up as being first in line to grab the scheme’s grant monies. Interestingly (but not surprisingly) Rye is listed as being ‘Not Currently In Roll Out Plans’ by BT. If ESCC is really sincere in its plans for this vital technological improvement then it should stop all this daft posturing and just get on with it for everyone.

I’ll make a prediction (which I hope will be totally wrong of course), that by the time the process is over, the big towns will have grabbed all the funding, the rural areas will still have no better service than they have now and that ESCC will simply blame ‘lack of interest in public response’ as their excuse for excluding the rural communities who need it.

Gary Mewis

Address supplied

Zapping the EU ‘myth-buster’ figures

“THERE are lies, damned lies and statistics”... and Lib-Dem spin-doctors!

Stephen Hardy uses his Lib-Dem led government’s imaginative tax-payer’s pie-chart to desperately defend the indefensible with his astonishingly naive and misleading claim that Britain’s massive EU contributions come from income tax alone: “an ‘average’ worker on £25,000 (really?) pays just £28 to the EU” (letters 30/3/12). What tosh!

30m income tax payers paying £28 each = £840m. That’s well short of the £5,000m nett payment (£166 each) the Libs-Dems have long claimed!

Stephen knows that EU contributions are not derived from income tax, but are a percentage of our GDP and VAT, collected by Customs & Excise who also collect tariffs on non-EU imports (paid gross by you and I) which go direct to the EU. The EU graciously allows recovery of those costs incurred by our taxpayer funded tax collectors - but we taxpayers see none of this ‘free’ EU rebate, so enthusiastically espoused by Stephen. Rebates are spent as the EU dictates!

The more Britain works and imports, the more the EU takes; we are the second largest nett contributor to the EU budget! These levies are primarily raised on products and services through the EU’s Value Added Tax. If you ‘add value’ (a restaurant meal or cold meat pie served hot), it is liable to VAT. Add up all the import tariffs and VAT paid by our ‘£25,000 taxpayer’, and his personal payment to the EU is around £200 p/a - not £28! QED.

Stephen’s ‘EU myth-buster’ is well and truly zapped!

Barry M Jones

Bixley Lane, Beckley