Jul 28 2012
The Daily Express
BRITAIN’S membership of the European Union is costing every household in the country an average of £750 a year, new research reveals.
Figures released last night show nearly £20billion from UK taxpayers is being poured into Brussels coffers annually.
But the huge burden of bureaucracy and regulation imposed by Eurocrats could mean the true total is more than double that amount, the study warns.
Campaigners said the findings, which will only intensify support for the Daily Express’s crusade for Britain to quit the EU, proved this country’s taxpayers were being “fleeced”.
The latest estimate for the crippling cost of EU membership was calculated by leading economist Timothy Congdon, a senior member of Ukip.
He said: “I put forward a figure of £750 per British household per annum, but that is what we have to pay just for the direct fiscal cost.
“One of my key conclusions is that the cost of EU regulations to the UK is much higher now than the direct fiscal cost. In fact, the cost of the regulatory burden is reasonably estimated at four per cent of GDP [Gross Domestic Product] and rising.”
Mr Congdon expected his estimate to be rejected by ministers, Whitehall officials and Brussels bureaucrats.
He added: “I know that our Europhile government – Cast-Iron Cameron, Claptrap Clegg and the rest of the useless gang – will dispute my number.
“The policy-making establishment has been lying about Europe ever since the early 1970s, but the truth will out.”
Robert Oxley, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “British taxpayers are fed up with being fleeced by Brussels.
“The EU wastes billions of pounds without anyone being held to account.
“Too often, the Eurocrats seem to forget that they are spending taxpayers’ money and not their own.”
Based on current trends, Mr Congdon estimated that Britain’s gross contribution to the EU will reach a total of £20billion in 2013 compared to about £12billion in 2006.
About half of the contribution would be returned to the UK through agricultural subsidies and regional payments, but Mr Congdon said the UK Government would have no control over that spending. He also warned that the annual fee of £750 per household could soar by an additional £250 if Turkey and other Balkan nations such as Serbia are admitted to the EU.
“The three main political parties have said they want the EU to expand to take in much of the Balkans and Turkey. If so, the cost would rise towards £1,000 a year,” said Mr Congdon.
Leaked Whitehall documents estimate that EU energy regulations designed to cut carbon emissions were alone costing the UK between £5billion and £11billion a year.
As the analysis was released last night, Eurocrats were expected to vote for an inflation-busting £350million hike in the annual EU budget. Britain was set to vote against the massive increase for 2013, along with Sweden and the Netherlands.
But the EU’s qualified majority voting system meant their opposition was almost certain to be overruled.
Tory Treasury minister Mark Hoban called the proposed budget increase an “unhappy compromise”. He said it was time to “cut the quangos, EU staff pay and low value programmes”.