30 MAR 2011
By Sean O'Grady | Independent
The UK's payments to the European Union almost doubled in 2010, according to the latest data issued yesterday by the Office for National Statistics – soaring to £230 for every household in the country.
The ONS said yesterday that the net transfer of funds from Britain to EU institutions rose from £5.3bn in 2009 to £9.2bn in 2010, a jump of almost £4bn, or 74 per cent – enough to avoid the recent rise in national insurance or the new 50p rate of tax. The UK's contributions to the EU are at their highest level ever, and one of the very few areas of public spending set to increase in coming years despite the cutbacks being made across Britain.
The largest single contribution to the rise was the reduction in the UK's "rebate" from the EU, originally negotiated by Margaret Thatcher in 1984, when she famously asked for "our money back".
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