17 MAY 2011
By Macer Hall | Daily Express
BRITAIN’S liability for shoring up the collapsing euro soared to a colossal £12.5billion last night following a European Union rescue deal for Portugal.
Chancellor George Osborne yesterday agreed with other European finance ministers that the UK will pour £4.3billion into a £68billion international bailout package for the debt-laden Portuguese economy.
On top of cash already pledged to Ireland and Greece, the move raises Britain’s financial involvement in supporting the crisis-hit eurozone to £500 for every household in the country.
And fears were growing that the total liability figure could rocket to more than £15billion if Britain is forced to contribute to an expected second international bailout for the Greeks.
Last night critics savaged the Treasury’s decision to join another lavish EU rescue at a time of swingeing austerity measures in the UK.
Tory MP Douglas Carswell said: “This is a disastrous deal for Britain.
“At a time of public-spending cuts at home, millions of hard-working families around the country will be wondering how we got into this mess.
“It is extraordinary in the week when it becomes apparent that lenders will not get the money back from the Greek bailout that we should be going ahead with throwing billions into a Portuguese bailout.”
Euro-MP Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, said: “Osborne must decide who he wishes to please, either the UK taxpayer or his fellow EU finance ministers? Who is he working for – us or them?”
Charlotte Linacre, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This news is disastrous. The Government is failing UK taxpayers by not resisting further EU bailouts.
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