Who Was Really Surprised By The EU Payment Demand?

Posted on: 27/10/2014

The fuss about the 2 Billion Euro extra payment to the EU is all about political positioning.

Does anyone really believe that the UK Government was surprised by the bill?

The same formula has been used to calculate such payments for years. George Osborne claims to have a good grasp of our countries finances - and who are we to disbelieve him? - so it seems highly unlikely he would have failed to account for this easily forecasted extra outgoing.

So why all the noise? Simple. This entirely expected event gave a golden opportunity to needy UK politicos to make their views on Europe clear - or, at least, clear enough to allow them to muddy the waters further.

The UK Government believes that its voters - actual and potential - want a firm line taken on certain issues. Too many foreign workers in the UK is one of them and too high payments to Brussels is another. 2 Billion Euros was judged to be worthy of a loud rant and table thump.

But is all the noise justified?

On average, the net amount the UK pays to the EU is about £8 Billion a year. This year, it will be £10 Billion. Not loose change, perhaps, but only about 1.25% of the British Governments total annual expenditure of around £720 Billion. So there must be many other cost lines more worthy of loud protests?

Sadly, of course, Europe is an easy target. Cue cheap-shots from Westminster.

Other things more worthy of fuss?

Well, the average wage of British workers has fallen by around  £2500 a year since 2008. Since there are 30 Million working people in the UK, the total loss they have suffered is around  £75 Billion each year, ten times what the EU costs our country.

Let's have some noise about that from Mr Cameron and Mr Farage. Are foreigners to blame or is it the Eton FP's who have had their hands in British wallets? 

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