I brought my children up to work hard at school and make something of their life. They did, I'm a very proud Dad. I passed on the same mantra my Edwardian Grandmother passed on to me "If you don't do well at school you'll amount to nothing". Except as time marched on this mantra has become diluted. These days to say such a thing is just a pack of lies. If you did well at school you could go on to get gainful employment and get on in life. If you clowned around, bullied others, were downright disruptive and left school with no qualifications there are a plethora of tax payer funded agencies, benefits and organisations to give you the chance in life you threw away while you were at school. In other words the tax payer pays twice. Being able to get way more than the average wage in benefits makes a tax payer funded life on welfare a lifestyle choice. The tax payer keeps on paying. In this scenario "The tax payer" could be the one who tried hard at school and went straight on to further education and get gainful employment. Slowly this is changing, it ought to be austere on benefits. There needs to be a revived truth in what our forebears drummed into us. As Will Smith once said you need "to be scared of being broke". With the benefits cap, housing benefit reforms and universal credit making work pay this neglected truth is making a comeback, i.e. those who make the decision to buckle down and work hard at school will be far better off than those who choose not to bother and expect bail outs as adults. There are extraordinary parallels with the furore over the EU surcharge. During the economic meltdown, made all the worse in the UK by Labour's Great Recession, the UK buckled down, made the decision to work hard to get ourselves out of the slump. Workers took reduced shifts, shorter hours and exercised pay restraint so the jobs were still there when the recession ended. The Government took tough decisions on public spending, made unpopular choices, even had to go into coalition with the Lib Dems, things were that bad. You can go further back and recall how we opted out of the Euro and opposed fiscal and monetary union opting instead to run our own financial affairs. The result; we are Europe's fastest growing economy, we're not in recession, employment at record levels, unemployment, even youth unemployment, is way down. Our European counterparts failed to take these tough decisions, shunned austerity, shackled together by the Euro. The reward for their fiscal cowardice is to be given a rebate on their EU contributions. The UK has made great sacrifices to get the economy back on track and our reward is to be slapped with a bill for the thick end of 2billion quid. The figure needs to be revised, and revised down to a bill of £0.00. After all, the EU already benefits from the buoyant UK economy. Being in growth we import EU many more goods, the EU can trade with record numbers of new businesses in the UK. Pan-European companies based in the EU rely on their UK branches to prop up their balance sheets, global companies operating in Europe rely on the buoyant UK economy to remain in Europe at all. The short sighted EU commissioners look no further than a cash handout and fail to understand that the UK's mere presence is worth more than the £1.7bn they are convinced they deserve. Will we pay this £1.7bn, as the great lady once said NO, NO, NO.