North West England Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies has accused UKIP of making up figures that suggest that EU costs are 50 times higher than that paid by the UK Treasury.
He has challenged UKIP’s North West England MEP Paul Nuttall to explain his “dodgy maths” in public.
Davies said: “UKIP must explain why its sums don’t add up. There is a debate to be had about getting value for money from the EU, but there cannot be serious discussion with people who make up the figures as they go along.”
A draft Treasury letter that is due to be sent to every taxpayer shows how the money raised through taxes is spent. It reveals that the UK’s net contribution to the EU costs a taxpayer earning the average £26,000 per year just £51, or less than £1 per week.
The figure compares to interest payments on the national debt that cost the same person £548 per year, and a welfare bill that requires average taxes of £3,537.
Administration costs for the UK government alone, at £172 per person, are three times higher than the entire contribution to the EU.
UKIP have claimed that our EU cost is £2,516 per year for the average taxpayer, but calculations made by Davies have shown that this is the amount that would be paid by someone earning £1,291,710 in salary.
Said Davies, “Only in the crazy world of UKIP does the average taxpayer earn well over £1 million per year.
“UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall has already had to apologise for one invented press story this year. Will he now accept my challenge to explain why the Treasury has got it wrong or will he also apologise for his latest false claims?”
Notes to Editors
Figures for public spending are taken from HM Treasury statistical analysis at:
Figure claimed by UKIP for spending on the EU are taken from Gerard Batten MEP’s document and is the lower of the two figures he quotes:
Estimates of the tax paid by the average taxpayer are 40% of income and include both direct (Income Tax and NI) and indirect (VAT) taxation.