Here’s something to chuckle over with your grandmother while she decides whether to feed herself or put the heating on:
Sir – On Tuesday night, the House of Commons passed the European Communities Finance Bill. This committed the British taxpayer, according to Treasury figures, to contribute more than £100 billion between now and 2013 to the EU – enough money to run the National Health Service for a year. One might have thought this took detailed, lengthy and considered debate. One would be wrong. The Government imposed a guillotine on the Bill and debate lasted only 208 minutes. This is equivalent to spending £481 million a minute.
MPs were severely restricted in the time they could speak and scrutinise the Bill. Clearly the Government wanted this measure to slip through unnoticed, so that the appalling deal done by ministers in negotiating away part of our EU rebate would go unnoticed. The Government claims the deal is good for Britain, yet our net contributions to the EU will increase from an already horrendously large £4.7 billion to £6.8 billion in 2011.
Yet this is the same Government that won’t honour the police pay review.