In response to the Lib Dem MEP’s letter last week about the £50m ‘European funding’ for local businesses, may I point out a couple of facts that may tarnish the shine on this apparent largesse?
The EU costs the British tax payer £11bn per year in direct costs. Prof Tim Congdon, the respected British economist, estimates that EU legislation, red tape and restrictions on business cost Britain £185bn per year. All these huge figures make we mortals dizzy but to put it in perspective, the NHS only costs £100-110bn a year. Perhaps that puts what EU membership takes from us in some perspective - overall, almost twice the cost of the NHS.
So the £50m for businesses is no free lunch, it is a tiny fraction of what we pay to the EU, after much is wasted on bloated and inefficient administration and lost on expensive infrastructure. This includes The European Parliament, The Council of the European Union, The European Commission, The European Economic and Social Committee, The Committee of the Regions, The Court of Auditors, The European Ombudsman etc. A recent attempt by MEPs to reduce the funding allocated to paid advisers and lobbyists failed. You can see how topsy just grew and grew.
The EU budget recently failed its audit for the 18th year in a row.
Does the largesse seem quite as generous now?
Dr CHRIS HEATH
UKIP candidate for Southwater on Horsham District Council, Salisbury Road, Horsham