Britain's net contribution to EU budget doubles in 3 years
Britain's net contribution into the EU's budget has practically doubled in three years, new figures for the bloc's 2010 budget revealed on Friday.
Taxpayers across Britain paid in 12.1 billion euros in 2010, getting back 6.7 billion in funds circulated around EU member states for different projects including farming aid -- of which 3.9 billion was paid back across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The 5.4-billion-euro net contribution compared to a 2.8-billion input in 2008, when 10.1 billion was paid in to Brussels and 7.3 billion came back through funds and a rebate negotiated by ex-premier Margaret Thatcher back in the 1980s.
A re-negotiation of the size of this rebate was a significant factor, the sum falling from 6.2 billion in 2008 to 3.5 billion in 2010.
A spokesman for the commission told AFP that changes in the exchange-rate dynamics between the euro and sterling and GDP growth in Britain, which affects contributions, were the other reasons.
Germany's net contribution in 2010 was nine billion euros, up two billion. France's was static at five billion.
The 2012 EU budget, which requires the final agreement of the EU parliament, is for just over 129 billion, as against 126.5 billion for the present year, a 4.9-percent increase.
Prime Minister David Cameron's government has been among the most outspoken to increasing the EU budget at a time when the 27 member states are having to implement austerity policies.
© 2011 AFP