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Budget Council

Volume 84: debated on Monday 21 October 1985

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement about the Budget Council on 17–18 September.

I represented the United Kingdom at this Council in Luxembourg.After meeting a delegation from the European Parliament the Council considered the proposals contained in the Commission's 1986 preliminary draft budget. The Council then established a draft budget for 1986 by qualified majority.The draft budget respects the 1986 reference framework set by the ECOFIN Council in July, with limited additions for enlargement, and is consistent with the budget discipline conclusions agreed by the Council in December 1984.Provision is made on the revenue side for the United Kingdom to receive a VAT abatement of 1·4 billion ecu, in accordance with the conclusions of the Fontainebleau European Council.The expenditure agreed by the council totals 32,056 million ecu of payment appropriations and 34,218 million ecu of commitment appropriations. These figures include a 1,652 million ecu rebate of own resources to Spain and Portugal under the agreed transitional arrangements. The Council agreed 21,012 million ecu of payment and commitment appropriations for agricultural guarantee expenditure; this is consistent with the 1986 agricultural guideline. It also provided 6,537 million ecu of payment appropriations and 8,782 million ecu of commitment appropriations for non-obligatory expenditure. These increases are within the 1986 maximum rate of 7·1 per cent.The Council set the same levels of food aid provision, 508 million ecu of payment appropriations and 636 million ecu of commitment appropriations, as in the 1985 adopted budget whose levels were higher than those generally agreed in previous years. The Council stated that it would continue to monitor developments in the countries concerned and declared itself ready to review the arrangements made in the light of requirements.The draft budget has now been forwarded to the European Parliament.