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Latest news from the Commission on the budget of the EU makes welcome reading. Here are some of the facts:

– Spending on measures linked directly to jobs, growth and competitiveness rose to a record 40 per cent of the budget, or €46.6 billion.

– Spending on research rose 9 per cent to €6 billion

– The overall budget rose slightly to 0.94 per cent of EU Gross National Income (up from 0.93 per cent in 2007)

– Spending on agriculture fell to 37 per cent of the overall budget – less than is spent on jobs growth and competitiveness!

– The UK received €3.8 billion for agricultural funds and €2.1 billion for cohesion, while at the same time benefiting from a €6.3 billion rebate in the UK contribution to the EU budget.

The overall budget is still below the ceiling agreed by the member states of 1.045 per cent of GNP and substantially below the 1.27 per cent of 10 years ago.

The idea that European Union spending is either wrongly focussed or out of control is proved to be wrong.

Read a report on the budget here: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/09/1342&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

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