Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Implementing EU Directives: The cost

Ever wondered how much it costs us, the taxpayer, to implement the various directives that come out of the EU? Well, thanks to Priti Patel, the MP for Witham, we can get an idea. She's been writing to all departments it seems and asking them,
how many EU directives are pending transposition into domestic legislation [in the] Department; and what estimate [has been] made of the cost of each such transposition.
Brace yourself. OK, are you ready? Let's start will the small ones.

Eric Pickles' Department for Communities and Local Government has just the one EU Directive pending transposition, it is "Directive 2010/31 /EU on the energy performance of buildings". Apparently, "it is estimated that it will cost £2.5 million to transpose this directive into domestic legislation."

The Department for Health has still to transpose Directive 2010/53/EU (which sets minimum standards across the European Union for the quality and safety of organs intended for transplantation) in law. They're not sure of the exact cost but operating the law "may be between £0.5 million and £2 million per annum".

However, my absolute favourite has to be one from Chris Huhne Department of Energy and Climate Change. They have lots awaiting transposition with costs as yet to be confirmed, but there is one, Directive 2009/28/EC, which is about promoting the use of energy from renewable sources (sounds like legally required advertising doesn't it?) which they do know the cost of, and, helpfully the alleged cash terms benefit.

This little treasure will cost £19.85 billion to transpose into law, yes, £19,850,000,000, and the benefit? Well that's going to be £11 billion, which by my simpleton GCSE maths means it's being implemented at a loss of £8.85 billion. Bargain!

[sarcasm] I would like to make it clear right now that the EU is not an expensive waste of money at a time when we're cutting the deficit. It is absolutely vital to the UK, it really is. [/sarcasm]

Will the anti-cuts campaigners call for such transpositions to be halted? Probably not.

No comments: