Cosmopolitan

EU squandered millions on overseas projects last year including paying for broken toilets in Haiti

The Gazette Staff

Millions of pounds were squandered on European Union aid and overseas projects last year, a report has found.

A radio drama series in Mozambique, broken toilets in Haiti and computer systems in empty offices in Jamaica were among examples of funds being misspent.

Cash was also wasted on training schemes in Bosnia where less than half of people turned up, a giant pigsty for a Polish farm not entitled to funds and 31 plane tickets for contractors for a jaunt to Jamaica.

Yesterday’s European Court of Auditors report into the bloc’s annual budget of around £138billion found £4billion was misspent. The budget for aid and overseas projects was around £720million, of which around 3 per cent was misspent.

A European Court of Auditors report into the EU’s annual budget of around £138billion found £4billion was misspent

The report found the EU Commission had sometimes ‘assumed’ cash was spent within the rules.

The UK pays around £9billion to the EU each year. And the bloc is demanding £39billion in a Brexit divorce bill agreed by Theresa May – even if there is No Deal.

Tory MP Nigel Evans said yesterday: ‘While we’re in the EU, we have little control over how this money is spent. In fact, it looks like no one is in control over how this money is spent.’

And Tory MEP Geoffrey Van Orden said: ‘It seems no global lost cause is too obscure for the EU to lavish its notional largesse – actually ours.

‘The UK currently spends £1.5billion of its aid budget through the EU. We get little credit for this and have to rely on EU oversight.’

The report singled out a contract between the EU Commission and a non-governmental organisation for a sanitation project in Haiti. A check on a public bathroom built under the programme found ‘the toilets were not functioning properly and some were not open for use’.

The UK pays around £9billion to the EU each year. And the bloc is demanding £39billion in a Brexit divorce bill agreed by Theresa May – even if there is No Deal

The UK pays around £9billion to the EU each year. And the bloc is demanding £39billion in a Brexit divorce bill agreed by Theresa May – even if there is No Deal

The UK pays around £9billion to the EU each year. And the bloc is demanding £39billion in a Brexit divorce bill agreed by Theresa May – even if there is No Deal

Auditors also found a £160,000 grant for improving access to food and nutrition in Mozambique had been used to set up ‘a radio-drama series’ – which it said was a ‘principle of economy not respected’.

The report found around 2.6 per cent of the EU’s budget was misspent last year, up from 2.4 per cent from the year before.

Brexit Party MEP Michael Heaver, who highlighted the findings during a European Parliament hearing, said: ‘This report will send shivers up the spines of British taxpayers.’

An EU Commission spokesman said the report ‘did not match’ its own assessment and that it was often up to member states to conduct checks.

NO DEAL… NO TOILET ROLL! 

Toilet paper supplies could run out if there are long-term border delays or panic buying under a No Deal Brexit, a manufacturer has suggested.

Essity, which makes the Velvet and Cushelle brands, said it was developing ‘robust contingency plans’, but warned that stocks were ‘not unlimited’.

The company manufactures tissue in the UK and said it had built stocks of raw materials and spare parts to ensure supply in the event of short-term border delays.

Essity, which makes the Cushelle brand, warned that stocks were ‘not unlimited’

Essity, which makes the Cushelle brand, warned that stocks were ‘not unlimited’

Essity, which makes the Cushelle brand, warned that stocks were ‘not unlimited’

It is also holding stocks of finished products that are imported or exported between the UK and EU.

A spokesman said: ‘Some [stocks] will not withstand long-term border delays outlined by the Government or in the event of consumer panic buying.’ The company’s comments came after Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards used a written question in Parliament to ask ministers for details on how long stocks of toilet paper will last in a No Deal scenario.

Cabinet Office minister Simon Hart said the Government is working to ensure the ‘best possible preparation’ to support the flow of goods.

Mr Edwards last night added: ‘This is the farcical level we have descended to – the British Government can no longer even guarantee we have the necessary supplies of toilet paper in a crash-out Brexit.’

 

Source : Mail Online

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