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Ec Economic And Finance Council

Volume 81: debated on Tuesday 18 June 1985

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about the meeting of the European Community Economic and Finance Council in Luxembourg on 11 June.

I represented the United Kingdom at this Council.The Council discussed the economic situation, in particular, profitability, investment and employment in the Community. Work on these issues will continue, and the Council will send an interim report later this month to the Milan European Council.There was a discussion on the further development of the European monetary system. The President of the Council will send a progress report to the President of the European Council. Work in the Monetary Committee and Committee of Central Bank Governors will continue, particularly on the development of both the private and official ecu.The Council discussed the procedure for applying budget discipline to the 1986 Community budget. The Italian and Luxembourg presidencies will make arrangements for a meeting with the European Parliament at an early date prior to the Council fixing the reference framework for 1986, in accordance with the Council conclusions of 4 December 1984.The Council agreed on a package of increases in travellers' allowances, from 1 October 1985 (with certain derogations for some member states). The main changes are as follows: the value element of travellers' allowance of intra-Community tax-paid goods will rise from 280 ecu (about £160) to 350 ecu (about £200); the intra-Community tax-paid still wine allowance will be increased from 4 to 5 litres; the tax exemption for small consignments sent between private citizens in the Community will rise from 70 ecu (about £40) to 100 ecu (about £60); and duty-free admission of fuel in bus tanks will be up to a maximum of 600 litres. The Council also agreed on a regular adjustment of allowances to maintain their real value.The Council reached a common position on the 20th VAT directive, which concerns special national aid for German farmers to be paid through the VAT system and which was agreed in principle as part of the Fontainebleau package. The Council also discussed the proposed UCITS ("unit trust") directive, and work on this will continue.