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European Community Contributions

Volume 170: debated on Thursday 19 April 1990

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer why the payments to European Economic Community institutions less VAT abatement increased from £4,066 million in 1987 to £4,442 million in 1989, as set out in table E of the Central Statistical Office leaflet of 13 March; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 18 April 1990]: The increase in the United Kingdom's gross contribution less abatement between 1987 and 1989 reflected an increase of around a quarter in the size of the Community budget. The United Kingdom's share of gross contributions, after abatement, fell from 16·2 per cent. in 1987 to 15·4 per cent. in 1989.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer why the general Government receipts from European Economic Community funds have fallen from £2,282 million in 1987 to £2,141 million in 1989, as set out in table E of the Central Statistical Office leaflet of 13 March; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 18 April 1990]: The fall is mainly due to a reduction in the level of receipts from the structural funds arising from the fact that Community support frameworks were not signed until the end of 1989. As a result, some payments were delayed. Receipts in 1990 are expected to be significantly higher than in 1987 or 1989.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement explaining the nature and extent, in respect of each calendar year, of the increase in payment to the European Economic Community in respect of previous years following the annual reassessment, as referred to on page 3 of the Central Statistical Office leaflet of 13 March; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 18 April 1990]: Contributions in respect of VAT own resources and the GNP-based fourth resource are paid by member states to the Commission on the basis of agreed economic forecasts. Each year an adjustment is made to contributions paid in previous years to take account of outturn information. As such, the adjustment can be either positive or negative.