HC Deb 23 November 1979 vol 974 cc403-4W
Mr. Cockeram

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement on the meeting of EEC Finance Ministers on 19 November.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

The EEC Finance Council took place under Irish presidency.

In preparation for the European Council on 29–30 November, the Council continued its examination of the arrangements for financing the Community budget,

units of account, have been converted from national currencies on the basis of official or market exchange rates. However, the use of exchange rates in this context can be misleading since they do not necessarily reflect the relative purchasing power of national currencies in terms of the goods and services available in the countries being compared.

It is generally recognised that a more realistic assessment of relative levels of national income can be made through the use of purchasing power parities. Detailed estimates on this basis for the member countries of the EEC have been derived from information published by the statistical office of the European Communities (SOEC) and the results are reproduced in the table.

with particular regard to the implications that these have for the economic performance of individual member States. In the course of this discussion I reiterated the need for decisions in Dublin that would relieve the intolerable burden that the Community's present budgetary arrangements impose on the United Kingdom, as the House demanded in its resolution of 16 July.

The Council also held an exchange of views on the economic aspects of work-sharing on the basis of a report from the Economic Policy Committee. It invited the Social Affairs Council to take account of these views and of the Economic Policy Committee report at its meeting on 22 November.

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