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George Osborne: It seems he can save money when he wants to.

George Osborne: It seems he can save money when he wants to.

The UK will only have to pay half of the £1.7bn budget surcharge demanded by the European Union, according to George Osborne.

The EU itself has yet to make an announcement at the time of writing.

Osborne’s words came after a four-hour meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels, in which he said it had also been agreed that the UK would pay the money in two interest-free instalments, totalling £850 million, before September 2015.

It seems the Treasury wants to claim it has cut the 2.1bn Euro top-up charge in half by ensuring the UK’s rebate applies to the payment.

But even the BBC’s Tory-supporting Political Editor, ‘Tricky’ Nick Robinson, said the deal would be scrutinised.

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