It is nice to know that the UK is part of a supportive European community, isn't it? Once again Britain has had a slap in the face from its European partners. We may be on the periphery of EU in that we had the sense not to sign up lock stock and barrel to the Eurozone but the EU sure knows where to come when it wants money or to implement another daft law.
The latest slap in the face comes by way of that stinky much loved product Garlic.
In recent years we Brits have become more adventurous about our eating habits. While there will always be die hard fish and chips plus roast beef and Yorkshire pudding fans most of us have a more varied diet these days. It must say something when the nation's favourite dish is said to be curry.
Along with more exotic foods pasta dishes have become increasingly popular in the UK. Pasta is not true tasty pasta though without a liberal supply of Garlic. This is where this latest EU stink has arisen.
The UK is being taken to court by the European Commission for an alleged £15million tax bill.
Fresh garlic from China imported into the UK was wrongly classifed as frozen. This meant that it attracted a lower tax rate of tax. The European Commission in true neighbourly fashion is now demanding the unpaid tax plus compensation.
The tax bill dates back to 2005-2006. The wrongly classified garlic came to light as part an inspection by the European anti-fraud squad. The have issued a statement saying, "In failing to collect the correct amount, the UK authorities did not act with all due care. "The UK authorities, however, have failed to compensate for the missing amount, by claiming that the customs took all necessary actions justified by the case."
The statement said the European Commission was taking legal action "to protect the common EU interest", adding: "Fair treatment of all member states must be ensured - if one member state fails to deliver on its obligation to collect the common resources of the EU budget, the other member states are forced to pay more as a result."
A fair assessment or pure vindictiveness?
As the UK continues to throw good money after bad at the EU is there any wonder most UK citizens want out. This is why PM Cameron and deputy Clegg dare not hold a referendum on our EU membership.
Yes we should hold our hands up and pay up but we must also stop bailing out the EU with money, and money, and money. We must cling on to our independence from this restrictive Europe which has too many leaders looking after their own country's interests.
The UK like other EU member states must pay revenue to the EU commisson on all goods imported from countries outside of the EU. A free trade economy it is not. We know that all countries have some level of corruption or human error. Unless the anti-fraud squads of the EU inspect regularly this will not be the only lack of due tax being paid.
TEKJournalismUK recently reported about the island of Zante and its fraudulent welfare claims. You could argue that these were paid for by all of us as we keep bailing out Greece. Hard times will no doubt herald a surge in the blame culture but the system must be fair.
Should the UK stump up the monies owed? You tell me?
Related reading: http://www.chinesegarlic.org/garlic-market/us-tariff-on-chinese-garlic-imports-unjust.html
Based in Yorkshire, in the middle of the UK, almost, this blogger offers her own unique perspective on life in GB
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