The amount that the UK gives to the EU rose by over two and a half billion pounds in the financial year to April 2019. But it could so easily have been a lot higher and many people have missed that.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
In the financial year to the end of March 2019, the UK gross contribution to the EU was just under £20.4 billion and, after the rebate, it was over £15.5 billion.
This comes from a Treasury report on the Consolidated Fund Account 2018-19, issued last week.
In the report it says:
"Payments to the budget of the European Union (EU) increased by £2.6 billion, from £12.9 billion in 2017-18 to £15.5 billion in 2018-19."
And you can see the relevant figures at the bottom of this table of contributions from 2012 onwards.
The gross figure on the left is what the calculations say we should pay, then the UK abatement is deducted to leave the total contribution in the centre column and when the amount we receive back from EU programmes is applied we get the figure on the right, which is the eventual net amount we pay in.
For the financial year 2018-19 shown at the bottom of the table, once the UK abatement, better known as the rebate, is applied our total contributions in the financial year to April 2019, were £15.5 billion, which is over £2.5 billion more than the £12.9 billion we paid in the financial year to the end of March 2018.
I have no actual figures for the amount we got back from EU programmes for 2018-19, but if it is in the usual £4 billion bracket, then our net contributions will also have surged.
To get a feel of how much the total contribution has increased, here it is on a graph.
It actually represents an increase of 20% on the previous year and that is quite a hike, isn't it.
Now I said in the introduction to this video that this figure could have been even higher.
So, why do I say that.
Well, according to the Consolidated Fund Account 2018-19 report, the actual gross contributions should have been just under one billion pounds higher, £920 million to be exact and the amount after the rebate £942 million more.
And that is due to previous over-payments into the EU, as explained on pages 22 and 23 of the report.
As you can see from this table, our gross contribution should have been £21.3 billion as opposed to £20.4 billion, as shown in line five.
And after deducting the abatement in line six the UK contribution would have been £16.5 billion as shown in line seven, or over £3.5 billion more than last year – which is a whopping 28% more than the previous year – for what in return exactly.
And this is an aspect of the report that many pundits seem to have missed.
Just because we got some money back for previous overpayments doesn't make the tax liability for the year any less – it just makes the pill a bit easier to swallow.
And what if we'd previously underpaid?!
Finally, just think what we could do with all that extra cash to spend in the UK.