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Regarding who is footing the bill for the FMD epidemic, none of us seems to know how our country's finances work these days due to our involvement with the EU. I think it has become far more like a Federal State of Europe than anyone would like to admit.

We know we have to pay vast sums into the Federal coffers but we have been unable to find out the actual cost on the Treasury website. Greg says the net cost (a conservative estimate) is £1.8m per hour (about $1.5 to the £).

The Government does not help because it will announce figures which suggest that something is costing tax payers £?bn but they do not say whether it is UK tax payers or EU tax payers that are paying. I think they do this deliberately in order to take the credit or to make the public think that their hard earned taxes are being "wasted" on a few UK farmers.

Can you tell us how or how much each State in the USA pays to the Federal Government? If you can do that easily, you have a more open system than we have. I am told that it is only the UK and Germany that actually pays in more than it takes out so we have a situation where 2 countries are not only supporting the other 14 but are also having to support themselves to a far greater extent than the other 14.

We are noticing in England a terrible shortage of funds for essential services, which is not apparent in other EU countries, and we are starting to think our money is being used to fund others while we go short. The lack of money in England is either due to that or it is due to our defence budget which I guess is a cost that the other EU countries do not subscribe to - they are developing an EU military system because France and others won't have anything to do with NATO. The problem there is that they don't seem to know who will be in charge of it!

Sorry, off the point. We don't actually KNOW but I suspect that FMD got a special deal (for a change) and Tony Blair maybe got 60% funding from the EU to cull vast numbers of sheep. In many cases the cattle (on contiguous farms) were not culled and they survived, as would the sheep if they had been left alone. This policy will save a fortune in future subsidy payments especially coupled with schemes not to re-stock to past levels. In other words, to some extent, the cull was self-financing.

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