1. The EU says its budget for 2016 is €155 billion
. This was adopted on 25 November 2015, when the European Parliament confirmed the agreement. The European Parliament is the one which was elected in May 2014 when only a third of us (35.6%) voted.
2. This is only the notional cost of the EU government
on top of the normal costs of running each country, which are accounted for separately by the governments of each country.
3. 20 years of EU's audited accounts being 'qualified'
. This means the auditors couldn't approve them normally and had to caveat them. Here's what HM Treasury had to say in 2015 about the latest (2013) set of EU accounts:"For the twentieth consecutive year, the ECA [European Court of Auditors] granted a qualified DAS ['Déclaration d'Assurance’] with regards to the legality and regularity of the transactions underlying the EU budget accounts." "the ECA found that payments (EU spending) continued to be affected by material error with an estimated error rate of 4.7 per cent for the 2013 EU Budget as a whole"
So, the ECA (the auditors) have been unable to sign off the EU's accounts without qualifying their report, for 20 consecutive years
. In everyday language, "signed off" means "signed off normally, without qualification".
“The economic costs of corruption in the EU were estimated by a study conducted for the Commission to amount to approximately 120 billion Euros a year
(the equivalent of 1% of the EU GDP)," says the EU Commission Press Release.
5. It goes on to say: "Corruption in the area of public procurement is a clear barrier to competition in the internal market
. Studies have shown that about 20 to 25% of the public contracts’ value is lost to corruption
The Failing EU Is Out Of Control - This Is Not a Safe Club To Be A Member Of
[Sources: EU Council website EU budget for 2016 | EU Commission Press Release MEMO/12/105 | EU Parliament website, 2014 elections | HM Treasury's 'European Union Finances 2015: statement on the 2015 EU Budget
and measures to counter fraud and financial mismanagement' | ECA (European Court of Auditors): http://www.eca.europa.eu/en/Pages/ecadefault.aspx]