Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Cost Of The EU

As well as subsidizing the EU, Brit consumers have to pay more for their food. Because the EU subsidizes high cost EU farmers and puts up tariff walls against low cost imports. From Africa - are you listening Mr. Blair?

The British elector pays for the CAP (EU Common Agricultural Policy) in two different ways. First, as a tax payer he pays as part of the British contribution to the EU budget. Second, as a consumer, he pays by being forced to buy EU produced food at higher than world prices.

Global Britain2 has estimated the cost (to consumers) at £125 per person or £7.5 billion.

Let's run the numbers. The UK subsidizes the EU to the tune of of 4 billion euros every year. Now add the £7.5 billion cost to consumers - over 11 billion euros at today's rates. That's 15 billion euros or $18 billion every year.

According to the CIA, the Brit GNP is $1.782 trillion, that's $1,782 billion. So the Brits pay the EU 18/1782 per year, about 1% of their GNP. Which might not seem a lot, but there's plenty of things Brits would rather do with that.

For the benefit of US readers, US GDP is $11.75 trillion, so 1% would be $117 billion. Can you think of any non-US entity you'd spend that sort of taxpayer money on? Every year?