But in these times of austerity, with budgets being cut across the public sector, governments are a little embarrased that they are unable to cut the amount being sent to Brussels.
So what to do to silence the critics? Tough job.
So the EU is now floating an idea that will allow them to get their hands on people's cash, whislt simultaneously allowing Governments to pretend that the ampount of money going to Brussels is decreasing. Thus shifting the cost burden to Joe public below the obvious balance sheet.
Thus we have the Budget Commissioner Mr Janusz Lewandowski talking to the FT Duetschsland (and reported by EU Observer)
"If the EU had more of its own revenues, then transfers from national budgets could be reduced. I hear from several capitals, including important ones like Berlin, that they would like to reduce their contribution," he added.The dishonesty is palpable. This money is still gouing to come from the punter, in these cases through increased costs, and it will be less transparent.
He indicated that possible tax sources for Brussels could include an aviation tax and a financial transaction tax. Mr Lewandowski also has his eye on the money raised from the auctioning of CO2 emissions rights, something due to start in 2013.
Though of course if on the bill for your flight, or on your bank charges there was a line
"Taxes for EU contribution", then maybe it would be at least honest. But that isn't going to happen. The businesses in question, desperate not to upset their regulatory masters would never do anything as honest. (except maybe Ryanair)
Maybe Lewandowski is shooting the breeze