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The EU costs every household in Britain 4700 a year

A new study by the Taxpayer's Alliance says the EU costs every man, woman and child in the UK an astonishing 2000 a year (see www.taxpayersalliance.com). That's 4,700 for the average household. Our EU Budget contribution is set to rise to around 14 billion because Tony Blair sacrificed a large part of the British rebate. But the deadweight costs of EU regulation are much more than the budget contribution. Add the costs of the Common Agricultural policy, plus the extra costs of renewable energy and the EU's climate and energy package, and you're looking at a huge bill.

This was far too much even in the good times. Facing a serious recession, it's completely unaffordable.

The EU will add 350 a year to domestic electricity bills

The EU requires 15% of UK energy to come from renewables by 2020 -- which means up to 40% of electricity generation. This has resulted in massive spending on uneconomic wind power, adding 14% (70) to the average domestic electricity bill. The total EU energy package is expected to add 9 billion a year to Britain's energy costs, or 350 per household.

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The EU adds 800 a year to a family's food bills

The EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), plus EU import tariffs on food, are estimated to cost the average EU household 16 a week, or 800 a year. And that's before the EU's new Pesticides Directive forces up food prices still further. And it takes no account of the EU's infamous Common Fisheries Policy, which has decimated North Sea fish stocks, ravaged the fisheries industry and destroyed jobs, and made fish an expensive luxury. The CFP also obliges fishermen to throw back millions of tons of perfectly good fish, dead, every year -- a crime against the environment, and against common sense.

The EU's biofuel policies further feed food price inflation, since energy is an important agricultural input.

The EU's protective tariffs on food do huge damage to the Third World, denying poor farmers the opportunity to earn a decent living. Never mind Fair Trade Coffee -- if we want to help developing countries, we should scrap the CAP.

EU Employment Rules cost jobs and reduce prosperity

The EU's Working Time Directive limits over-time for employees looking to boost their income. It reduces labour market flexibility, leaves the British economy less able to cope with challenging times, and indirectly makes us all poorer.

Furthermore, this Directive is a direct threat to our already over burdened NHS. Spokesmen for doctors have said that standards of patient care may be impossible to maintain. The European Court of Justice has ruled that "on-call time" (including sleeping on the premises) should count as working time, which seriously threatens the NHS's ability to manage doctor's shift patterns -- as well as raising NHS costs.

A long list of other employment directives and red tape further damage competitiveness and impose unnecessary costs on employers.

EU law drives Post Office closures

In October 2007 Royal Mail announced that 2,500 small post offices were due to close over the following nine months. While the official reason for the closures was that the Royal Mail was losing millions each week, the move was in fact driven by EU Directive 2002/39/EC.

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EU rules cut rubbish collections

Fortnightly bin collections can be traced to the EU's Landfill Directive which obliges the UK to reduce the amount of landfill waste by 25% from 1995 levels by 2010, a 50% reduction by 2013 and a 65% reduction by 2020. Failure to meet the regulations will result in fines estimated by DEFRA at more than 200 million. In order to meet the regulations, around 40% of local authorities in England have adopted an ‘alternate weekly collection’ system whereby waste is collected one week and recyclables the next.

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