I actually can’t tell if they’re kidding or not. From the BBC:
The UK has been told it must pay an extra £1.7bn (2.1bn euros) towards the European Union's budget because the economy has performed better than expected in recent years.
Replace ‘UK’ with ‘worker’, slot in a different extremely high number, change ‘EU budget’ to ‘UK budget,’ and the system starts to resemble something quite similar to tax law in the UK.
The article continues:
The payment follows new calculations by the EU that determine how much each member state should contribute.
It would add about a fifth to the UK's annual net contribution of £8.6bn.
A government source said the demand was "not acceptable" while one Tory MP said the UK should simply refuse to pay it.
“UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the UK had been "hammered again" while Labour said it was imperative that the European Commission must reconsider the "backdated bill".
It appears UK politicians are in complete shock that hard work and serious efforts to pull out of the recession are being threatened by a big, bureaucratic government body that feels it’s entitled to some of those earnings.
This is priceless.
On the issue itself, I agree it’s “not acceptable”, and I dearly hope the UK “simply refuse(s) to pay it.” What a wonderful precedent that would set for next year’s tax season, when hard-working taxpayers (who, according to this year’s stats, will have been working for the Chancellor for 148 days to pay off their obligations), decide that they, too, don't want to be penalised for working harder and being a bit better-off financially.
Politicians can be slow on the uptake, so I guess there’s no deep surprise that it took them this long to understand the mechanics of ‘hard work = rewards.’ I just hope they whistle the same tune come next tax season.