Sunday, February 13, 2005

Figures to juggle with

What would we do without eurofacts, its editor Gerry Frost and the amazing Ian Milne, who manages to crunch numbers faster than most of us get through a bowl of cereal?

They have now started a new series of Data Sheets. The first one deals with that perennially fascinating subject: just how much do we pay over to the EU.

Here are the figures based on the official information, printed in The Pink Book 2004:

In 2003, Britain’s gross contribution was £13,121 million, which works out at £252 million a week, £36 million a day and £1½ million an hour.

In the same year gross receipts amounted to £8,310 million, which worked out at £160 million a week, £23 million a day and £1 million an hour.

Which brings us to the net contribution, of some interest, I should have thought to all those who grandly pronounce that the EU would be much better off without Britain, particularly if they happen to be French, Irish, Greek or Spanish:

In 2003 Britain’s net contribution was £4,811 million, which works out at £93 million a week, £13 million a day and £½ million an hour.

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