Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Now Britain is facing another demand from EU... for £34bn

British taxpayers could be forced to hand over another £34billion to Brussels after auditors yesterday revealed a massive black hole in the EU’s budgets.The staggering amount will push our EU contributions to above £13billion a year over the next six years – the equivalent to an extra £3,000 per household between now and 2020. According to the European Court of Auditors, David Cameron will be legally obliged to make up a share of the EU’s £259billion shortfall by the end of the decade. It means the Treasury will have to stump up around £33.7billion, calculated at the usual rate of Britain’s EU contributions. The vast hole in EU spending represents a political disaster for the Prime Minister, who has vowed to bring down the amount Britain pays into Brussels’ coffers. The findings triggered fresh fury last night, adding to demands for Britain to quit the EU. Jonathan Arnott, Ukip’s EU budget spokesman, said: “We’ve known for a while that the European Union is struggling to stick to its spending limits but no one expected that the shortfall would be so high. “How can a black hole as much as £259billion possibly have gone unnoticed by the political establishment?” The extra demands for money come on top of controversy over an extra EU surcharge of £1.7billion last month as Britain’s contributions increase because of better economic performance by the British economy compared to the eurozone.The MEP added: “We haven’t yet paid the last extra bill and already it seems they’re on the point of demanding even more.” John O’Connell, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Another day, another example of Brussels bungling.” The ECA said the huge shortfall is made up of outstanding bills for spending commitments made by the European Commission over the last four years. EU auditors are concerned that a ceiling that caps payments at a maximum of £718billion between 2014 and 2020 will not be enough to pay existing bills, leading to extra contributions from taxpayers across Europe. Igor Ludborzs, an EU auditor, warned: “The amounts are getting bigger and bigger.” The shortfall is known in Brussels jargon as “reste a liquider”, or “outstanding amount”. While Britain has a veto on going above the maximum payment cap, hitting the ceiling would push British EU contributions to above £13billion a year over the next six years. That is higher than the previous record high of £11.3billion paid into Brussels’ coffers last year. An official said: “If the EU spends right up to the payment ceiling, as now seems to be likely, that means that national contributions will go up.” The spending black hole is behind deadlocked EU budget talks for 2015 and a request from the commission for an extra £3.7billion in spending for this year. MEPs are pushing an eight per cent increase in Brussels spending next year, worth £5.4billion, to cover unpaid spending commitments at an additional cost to the British taxpayer of £680million.

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