Thursday, 20 December 2012
Fury as EU loses £1.2bn in Aid
Fears that the EU is squandering more British taxpayers’ cash were fuelled last night after it emerged more than £1.2billion in overseas aid from Brussels could not be traced.
The EU’s own financial watchdog said poor record keeping meant it had lost track of the cash handout to Third World countries.
“We cannot follow the trail of where the money goes,” said Karel Pinxten, an official at the European Court of Auditors. He added: “If the European Commission wants to have the support of European taxpayers, then its policies for budget support must be justified, and that’s questionable.”
The UK gives about £1.6billion a year, about a sixth of its total foreign aid bill, to the EU’s fund. Tim Aker, of anti-Brussels campaign group Get Britain Out, said: “It is astonishing the EU asks British taxpayers for more money, yet it doesn’t bother to monitor where its overseas aid is spent.
“It shows the EU has no concern about how it spends other people’s money.”
Brussels chiefs claimed that 97.5 per cent of its aid fund was properly spent.