Close to a fifth of VAT contributions that go into the European Union (EU) budget comes from UK taxpayers. This is the second highest of any EU member, according to new research by Business for Britain.
The lobby group, which wants the UK to get what it believes would be a fairer deal from the EU, calculated that between 2007 and 2013, 17.7 per cent of EU-wide VAT contributions came from the UK.
This equates to each person putting £246 into the EU budget, and is £78 more than the EU average.
France was the only country that paid a greater amount of VAT to the EU, contributing 18.3 per cent.
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of Business for Britain, said: “Many people simply don’t realise every time that they pay VAT some of that money is going straight to Brussels.”
The group also note that the EU Commission has called for greater use of the standard rate of VAT, and a uniform EU rate of VAT. They calculate that removing zero and reduced rate VAT would cost every UK household up to £1,697 a year.