With great fanfare last year the EU released updated GDP figures that includes information on prostitution, illegal drug use, and other underground aspects of an economy that were not counted before.
And this year, the EU wants the UK to cough up a bigger contribution because their economy has done better than the average European one … in part because of the bigger numbers from prostitution and drugs.
The payment, described by officials as a “surcharge” follows a change to the way the EU calculates gross national income to include previous hidden service industries, including such prostitution and illegal drugs.
Tim Worstall points out that just because you can count the GDP doesn’t mean you can raise the tax revenue from those sectors.
I’d add that since you probably can’t raise the money from those sectors, this amounts to a higher tax on legal sectors because the UK tried to count the illegal sectors.
This is analogous to taking a family containing a drug abuser, and telling the straight members of the family they have to work harder because one member of the family is having extra fun.
The bureaucrats at the EU have to be have a pretty screwed up worldview not to see that. Or … they just want the cash (and will use whatever excuse is handy).