In 2014, the European Union budget received €143.9 billion (£116.0 billion) in contributions from 28 member states and other sources, and made €142.5 billion (£114.8 billion) in payments. The UK contribution to the EU budget, after taking into account the UK rebate of £4.9 billion, was £11.4 billion. It received £5.6 billion in public- and private-sector receipts from the EU budget, thus making the UK’s net contribution £5.7 billion. If private sector receipts are excluded, the net contribution in 2014–15 was equivalent to 1.4% of UK government total departmental expenditure. Overall, the UK was the third-largest net contributor of all member states in 2014.
The European Court of Auditors (the external auditor of the EU) concluded that the 2014 accounts of the EU were true and fair, and that revenue was legal and regular. However, it reached an adverse opinion on the legality and regularity of payments, identifying an estimated level of error of 4.4% (above the materiality threshold of 2%—the level below which the European Court of Auditors judges that errors do not have a material significance). Payments have breached this threshold for the last 21 years. Although not an indicator of fraud, this represents money that was not used or administered in accordance with EU regulations and national rules.
Prepared 22 April 2016