Quoted in the Telegraph the opposition chief secretary to the Treasury Philip Hammond, said "The consequences of Labour's rebate sell-out are becoming clear, if only in these buried figures. Gordon Brown and Tony Blair signed billions of pounds of our money away in return for absolutely nothing."
"...he would use the veto to protect the rebate, which was 'fully justified and not up for renegotiation'".
Siphoned off is right! Suffice to say I think it is very wrong and we should start to seriously debate whether we should be doing it (in or out!) In fact I'll go further, [stamps foot] reform of the EU is vital and if that means starting again so be it but the first move - if you'll forgive the tangent - should be to get OLAF to bite in the rights places, or to bite at all! They're celebrating 10 years this year, how many billions has been 'lost' in those 10 years? That and the failed accounts saga should be more of a cause for concern but it seems so "normal" now that we bearly notice...a dangerous state of affairs. Little wonder then that an "alarming" majority (66%) of the EU citizens believe there is corruption involved: from the European Commission Eurobarometer survey on the attitudes of Europeans towards corruption [PDF] from Stop Corruption. [Not] funnily enough, the lowest 'scores' were 50% from the group of those born outside the EU and 57% from students.
"At a time when our economy is in recession and public service budgets are under pressure, Labour's incompetence is allowing billions of pounds to be siphoned off to Brussels."
The EU is all funded with taxpaying citizens' money and in OLAF's own mission statement it says "
"...except if they don't want to, or they're told not to, or if they forget.
European Institutions have a duty to guarantee, with regard to the taxpayer, the best use of their money.