HC Deb 08 June 1982 vol 25 cc10-1W
Mr. Marlow

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the figures for the United Kingdom's net contribution to the European Community budget in 1981 of £6 million given by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 26 May, Official Report, c. 1004, and of £397.1 million given by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on 26 May, Official Report, c. 312–14, she will set out the basis on which the two figures were calculated, together with the reasons for the difference.

The Prime Minister

The basis of the two sets of figures is as follows:

Table 1
Written answer 26 May Vol. 24, c. 312–14

Cash paid and received in 1981 for whole Community budget

£ million
United Kingdom gross payments to the Community budget 2,173.7
Receipts other than negotiated refunds 1,083.6
Negotiated refunds 693.0
Net payment in 1981 397.1

Table 2
Statement Minister of State, FCO 26 May Vol. 24, c. 1004

Contributions and receipts accruing in respect of the 1981 allocated

Community budget*

£ million
United Kingdom contribution to 1981 allocated Community budget 1,859
Receipts from 1981 allocated Community budget, other than negotiated refunds 1,075
Net refunds in respect of 1981 Community budget †778
Adjusted net contribution in respect of 1981 allocated Community budget 6
* Source: latest Commission estimate,
*† Excluding United Kingdom contributions to negotiated refunds. Gross refunds of £813 million were received in March 1982.

The main reasons for the differences are:

Table 1 covers all payments to, and public sector receipts from the Community budget by the United Kingdom in 1981. It therefore includes payments to the allocated budget—that part of the Community budget where expenditure is allocated by the Commission between member States—and the unallocated budget—to which all member States also contribute but from which they do not receive payment in most cases. Refunds to the United Kingdom form part of the unallocated budget. Table 2 covers the United Kingdom contribution to the allocated budget for 1981 plus net refunds payable in respect of our contribution to that budget. The estimates underlying the 30 May 1980 agreement and negotiations this year on our budget contributions have all been based on the allocated budget. Table 1 shows payments and receipts on a cash flow basis; id est as they occurred. Table 2 shows the United Kingdom contribution in respect of the allocated 1981 Community budget. It therefore includes all payments and receipts known to be relevant to the 1981 budget irrespective of when the payments took place, and includes the net refund payable under the 30 May 1980 agreement in respect of our contribution to that budget.

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