Inflated ideas about what we pay to EU

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FOR years, UKIP has made wild claims about how much it costs Britain to be a member of the EU.

Its approach has been simple: think of a number, treble it, then add a lot more. In other words, make it up as you go along.

But now MEP Paul Nuttall has been found out, and is wriggling.

It’s the Treasury that signs the cheques, and it pays out just over one per cent of all UK spending to the EU.

It’s a lot of money, but nothing like the amount that UKIP claims.

The EU Single Market is vital to the British economy, and it’s vital that we are at its heart and able to shape the decisions that affect us.

There will always be things that need to be changed and improved, but serious debate is made harder by UKIP’s distortions.

Chris Davies

Liberal Democrat MEP

Need to invest in building

THE news the nation has slipped into a double dip recession, and that construction and built environment industry suffered a three per cent decline in the first quarter of this year does not come as a surprise.

Our Construction Skills Network (CSN) forecast predicted that 2012 will be a difficult year for the industry, with output in the North West expected to fall by seven per cent, and construction employment to fall by four per cent, as decreasing levels of demand and tough trading conditions mean the industry will need fewer skilled staff.

The huge cuts to public spending across the UK have left a hole too big for others to fill, and while output in the North West is expected to increase in 2013 by three per cent, growth over the next five years is going to be slow and uneven.

CITB-ConstructionSkills is calling on government to provide further support to the sector during these tough times.

Construction is fundamental to the health of the UK economy.

Steve Housden

Sector Strategy Manager at CITB-ConstructionSkills in the North West

In need of real leadership

IT is no surprise that Tory MPs are becoming frustrated with the Government’s “leadership”.

If Parliament and the electorate are not shown a programme for recovery soon, we can expect more frustrated outbursts like last week’s “posh boys” taunt from Nadine Dorries.

Constituency MPs are surely being given a hard time by their voters, especially those in marginal seats.

If I may borrow a quote directed at Richard Needham during Mrs Thatcher’s government: “Messrs Cameron and Osborne are like two survivors of the Titanic disaster who have climbed aboard the Marie Celeste.”

M A Underwood, via email