Chancellor objects to 'error rate' in EU accounts

by Nick Huber

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22 Feb 2012

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Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne

GEORGE OSBORNE has tried to block the annual approval of the European Union's accounts amid concerns over misspending.

The Chancellor's move came despite the UK being the subject of some of the concerns, the Financial Times reported.

In an unprecedented step, the Chancellor, along with the finance ministers of the Netherlands and Sweden, voted against the signing off of the 2010 EU budget.

However, the accounts were approved by the majority of European finance ministers during a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday.

The move was designed to protest at perceived misspending in the EU's budget of €140bn a year. European auditors have never given unqualified assent to it in the past 17 years.

The estimated "error rate" in European spending, most of which funds agriculture and infrastructure, came to 3.7 per cent in 2010, up from the previous year and well above the 2 per cent "all clear" level.

 

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