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Friday, April 01, 2005

Bleed us Dry

Its not enough that we pay more than most into the budget and get much less out. Its an additional injury that the President of the country that contributes half what we do wants to get rid of the rebate. To add insult we are paying out in many other ways as well.
The Government is preparing for a showdown with its European Union partners over the more than £14 million that Britain spends every year subsidising a network of elite schools for the children of EU bureaucrats.
OK £14 Million is not a large sum of money, but why us.

Britain spends proportionally more than any other nation on funding the 13 schools, whose overall budget this year is £160 million.
The most reluctant member of the club is forced to be generous whatever the project, could this be more than coincidence?
Under a treaty that governs the schools, the Government pays the salaries of British teachers seconded to the schools. About 240 of the 1,400 full-time staff at the schools are British.
I am prepared to wager that the £9 million indirect subsidy does not feature in the accounts under UK contributions to the EU. Rather it is a small line in the general education budget. Like their private sector counterparts Enron and Parmalat, the Eurocrats of Brussels cannot resist the temptations of off balance sheet financing. It makes the budget look so much more frugal.

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