Financial facts over our EU contributions
PERHAPS the chair of the European Movement NI, Ian James Parsley, should have shown less haste in criticising the Leave campaign for their faux pas regarding Northern Ireland's "net contribution" to the EU (Write Back, May 19).
In the event of an exit, Mr Parsley states: "Throw in the rising cost of living and the facts are..." However, in my opinion, these are not facts, as they have neither occurred, existed, been experienced, nor can they be verified.
Mr Parsley is correct in his assertion that facts are important to voters, so here are some for your readers (courtesy of the Office for Budget Responsibility and HM Treasury):
l UK net contributions to the EU - £7.4bn (2010); £8.1bn (2011); £8.5bn (2012); £10.5bn (2013), £9.8bn (2014)
l In the years 2013 and 2014, 18 of the 28 member states received more back from the EU than they put in, with the UK being one of the top three net contributors.
The same document also provides a little doom-laden prophesy of its own:
l UK net contributions to the EU are forecast as - £10.8bn (2015/16); £9.7bn (2016/17); £8.4bn (2017/18); £9.3bn (2018/19); £9.6bn (2019/20) and £9.9bn (2020/21).
The question your readers need to ask themselves is: can we really afford to be receiving less than 50% of our contributions back from the EU while subsidising more than 60% of EU member states? I know my answer is 'No'.
And that is why I will be voting to leave the EU on June 23.
FACTS NOT FICTION