asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the amount by which Britain's net contribution to the European Economic Community in future years under the Fontainebleau arrangements will be increased or decreased if the proposal by the European Economic Community Commission dated 21 February to exclude from allocated expenditure a number of items in addition to the exclusion of development aid is adopted; and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to his reply, 23 April 1985, c. 428]: The Commission's proposals are in fact intended to show the gradual inclusion of items in the allocated budget, rather than their exclusion from it. The effect on the United Kingdom's net controbutions to the EC budget of the Commission's proposed definition of allocated expenditure depends on the amount of the excluded expenditure which would, if allocation were possible, be allocated to the United Kingdom. There is no way of knowing what this cost would be.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the amount of the United Kingdom rebate under the Fontainebleau formula which will be delayed until the next year in consequence of the proposal by the European Economic Community Commission dated 21 February to base the United Kingdom's abatement on a provisional or preliminary calculation; and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to his reply, 23 April 1985, c. 428]: The Commission's proposal to base the United Kingdom's abatement on the figures available when the preliminary draft budget is drawn up simply recognises the realities of the situation. The figures must be calculated in this way if the abatement is to be included in the budget so as to apply from 1 January of the following year. The figures that will be involved will depend entirely on particular circumstances: it is impossible to estimate them in advance, and as is always the case they could differ from them in either direction.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list in the Official Report the various items of expenditure by the European Economic Community which the Commission proposes in its communication dated 21 February should be excluded from allocated expenditure in addition to development aid in relation to the calculation of the United Kingdom's abatement under the Fontainebleau arrangements; and if it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government that a detailed and comprehensive list of such items should be determined before the final own-resources decision is approved by the Council of Ministers.
[pursuant to his reply, 23 April 1985 c. 428]: The only items, apart from Development Aid and the United Kingdom's refunds (which will not feature in future budgets) which the Commission is proposing to exclude from the allocated budget, are various representation expenses and the Contingency Reserve. If items of expenditure are transferred from the reserve to the budget lines, they will then fall within the allocated budget. The rest of the Commission's communication sets out its proposals for including in the allocated budget items that have hitherto been excluded. The Council of Ministers has accepted the Commission's proposals for the gradual extension of the allocated budget with the exception of one item that relates to fisheries agreements with third countries and was included in error.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimates he has made as to how the net payment to be made by the United Kingdom to the European Economic Community for 1985 and the years immediately following on the basis of a value added tax contribution of 1.4 per cent. will compare with the actual net payment made by the United Kingdom in 1984 and the years immediately before on the basis of a 1 per cent. value added tax payment; and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to his reply, 23 April 1985 c. 428]: The Government's latest projection of the United Kingdom's net contribution to the Community (along with figures for earlier years) is contained in the public expenditure White Paper (Cmnd. 9428).The White Paper figures assume that the 1 per cent. VAT ceiling will be raised to 1.4 per cent. on 1 January 1986. However, they allow for some supplementary financing of both the 1984 and 1985 Community budgets.As a result of the agreement reached at Fontainebleau on VAT abatements, the United Kingdom's VAT rate after abatement is likely to remain below 1 per cent., while that in other member states will be in excess of 1 per cent., the United Kingdom's net payments to the Community in future years are likely to be about half of what they would have been had there been no agreement, no refunds or abatements, and had the 1 per cent. VAT ceiling remained in force.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the agreement made at the Fontainebleau Council of Ministers placed any restriction on the timing of the approval by the Parliaments of member states of the increase in own resources as a precondition to the payment of the £600 millions rebate for 1984; and if the position has altered in any respect following the decisions of subsequent meetings of the Council of Ministers.
[pursuant to his reply, 23 April 1985, c. 428]: The payment in 1985 of the United Kingdom's VAT abatement of 1,000 mecu would be incompatible with the present own-resources decision, and so provision had to be made for it in the new one which is required to implement the Fontainebleau mechanism for the United Kingdom's abatements in future years and the increase in the VAT ceiling to 1.4 per cent. Neither the United Kingdom's 1984 abatement nor the increase in the ceiling can, therefore, be implemented until national Parliaments of all member states approve the new own-resources decision.