UK contribution to EU reaches £9bn a year
The UK's payments to the European Union almost doubled in 2010, according to the latest data issued yesterday by the Office for National Statistics – soaring to £230 for every household in the country.
The ONS said yesterday that the net transfer of funds from Britain to EU institutions rose from £5.3bn in 2009 to £9.2bn in 2010, a jump of almost £4bn, or 74 per cent – enough to avoid the recent rise in national insurance or the new 50p rate of tax. The UK's contributions to the EU are at their highest level ever, and one of the very few areas of public spending set to increase in coming years despite the cutbacks being made across Britain.
The largest single contribution to the rise was the reduction in the UK's "rebate" from the EU, originally negotiated by Margaret Thatcher in 1984, when she famously asked for "our money back".
The deal reflected the relative efficiency of British agriculture, which saw relatively little benefit from the EU's Common Agricultural Policy and had resulted in extremely large net transfers to the EU under the 1972 Treaty of Rome. With the accession in 2004 of new, and poorer EU members from eastern Europe – such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria – the pressure on EU resources to boost economic development and subsidise farming there led to renewed calls on Britain to give up what is officially termed the "abatement".
This was partially agreed by the Blair government, and is now leading to rapid worsening in the UK's financial relationship with the EU.
Thus, the rebate was slashed in 2010 by £2.3bn to just £3bn, and Britain also lost £300m in agricultural subsidies, and paid a further extra £900m to Brussels under complex rules related to the national income and the VAT take. A 2.9 per cent rise in the EU budget has been agreed for 2011.
The ONS also revealed that the UK's trade deficit with the EU ballooned from £14.3bn to £46.6bn last year.
The UK Exchequer is further exposed to rescuing distressed members of the eurozone via a small European Commission fund and Britain's contributions to the IMF, which is also helping fund eurozone bailouts. In all, this could amount to around £10bn in rescue loans.
- 1 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 2 36-year-old skeleton of dead baby found inside Indian woman
- 3 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 4 Homer Simpson has taken the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he has
- 5 The 13 obscure UK laws you didn’t know you were breaking
Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
The 13 obscure UK laws you didn’t know you were breaking
Teenager dies after suspected ice bucket challenge goes horribly wrong
Car tax disc changes: Make sure you know the new rules from 1 October or risk £1,000 fine
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 - £26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Account Executive / Client Services ...
£36000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Executive PA to CEO & Executive Dire...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Administrator - Tunbri...
£30-35k + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Management Accoun...