EU is charging UK £820m to look after our elderly expats

Under pre-Brexit arrangements UK citizens could be treated by other European nation’s health services with the bill being sent back to the UK Government to be settled up.

The pact also meant European citizens treated by the NHS should trigger a bill back to their homeland to be settled up by their health department.

But figures from the Department of Health and Social Care show the system is costing the government almost £15million a week.

The DHSC says this is because far more Britons retire overseas than foreigners retiring to live in the UK.

Conor Holohan, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Taxpayers will be shocked to see the sums we send overseas.”

The DHSC explained: “The vast majority of this budget covers the costs of UK state pensioners residing in EU member states. 

“They contributed to the NHS throughout their lives but then chose to export their pension to an EU member state. So they are entitled to healthcare paid for by the UK.”

The UK was billed £823million last year compared to the £74million we received from other European nations.

Spain was the biggest beneficiary under the scheme last year, with its government receiving a net payment of £313million from the UK Government.

France saw a net income of £149million, Ireland was in the black to the tune of £194million, while Italy, the Netherlands and Germany also received sizable positive payments.

The only countries that owed significant amounts to the UK were Romania (£5.3million), Bulgaria (£2.2million) and Portugal (£1million).

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