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European Community (Budget)

Volume 972: debated on Monday 29 October 1979

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he proposes to take to ensure that Great Britain will not be compelled to pay £915 million more into the EEC budget than it receives from the Community.

gross national product of the following countries is taken up by taxation, direct and indirect, and social security contributions: West Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom.

Details for 1977, the latest year for which information is available from international sources, are given in the table below. No corresponding figures are yet available for 1978 from international sources but the United Kingdom figures derived from domestic sources and adjusted to international definitions are given in the table.

[pursuant to his reply, 26 October 1979, c. 358]: The European Council has already asked the European Commission to look into the arrangements for financing the Community budget and to bring forward proposals for solving any problems that these create in time for it to take a decision when it next meets on 29–30 November. The Commission's estimates of net contributions to the Community budget in 1980 fully support Her Majesty's Government's view that present arrangements impose a quite inequitable burden on the United Kingdom.As the Prime Minister' and I have both emphasised at successive meetings with our Community colleagues, Her Majesty's Government are now looking to the Commission to propose a remedy that will restore, and thereafter maintain, a "broad balance" between the United Kingdom's contribution to the Community budget and its receipts from it. My right hon. Friends and I will continue to press this case.