Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has expressed his disbelief following the announcement made by the European Commission that the UK Government is to pay an extra £1.7 billion to the EU, under new calculations on what each Member State should contribute.
Mr Nicholson said:
"It is beyond belief that the European Commission is expecting the British taxpayer to fork out an extra £1.7 billion because our economy has grown faster than expected.
"It is little wonder that public confidence in the EU is at a low. The people of the United Kingdom have gone through the pain of recession and austerity. Now that we are getting back on our feet, it seems as though we are being punished. This bizarre kind of economic logic disincentivises growth and rewards stagnation.
"I have long been of the view that aspects of our relationship with the European Union should be reviewed. I have also said from the outset that Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom should have a constructive working relationship with the new Commission. If we are to work together positively, they could start by rolling back on these ridiculous demands."