Much is made by the anti-EU brigade of the supposedly huge cost of bodies like the European Parliament. But, in reality, this body costs each EU resident around 3 Euro a year, which at today’s exchange rate is two and a half quid. The UK’s net contribution to the EU budget for 2010 was 3.3 billion – that’s pounds, rather than euro.
So we pay 55 quid per resident of the UK towards the EU budget. And there are plenty of politicians and hacks out there working themselves into a terrible froth about it. But none of them wants to even raise a peep about our rather larger contribution to the beast that is BAe Systems.
Thanks to our friends at the Guardian, we now know that every UK resident gave 64 notes last year to this apparently deserving cause, the total being nearly four billions, more than the budget of entire Government departments. Moreover, the total MoD spending required a contribution from each resident of around four hundred pounds.
Yes, the security of the UK is important – crucially so. But does the bill have to be so large? And why aren’t the usual Europhobic suspects on the case of spending that makes our contribution to the EU look rather insignificant?
[UPDATE: This post has also featured on Liberal Conspiracy. My thanks as ever to Sunny Hundal]