HC Deb 20 December 1984 vol 70 c326W
Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what will be the limit on the sum of total expenditure which the Common Market Council of Ministers will, by qualified majority, be able to determine when the additional own resources and budgetary restraint mechanism come into effect.

Mr. Ian Stewart

[pursuant to his reply, 18 December 1984, c. 121]: At the beginning of the budgetary procedure each year the Council will fix a "reference framework" as part of the arrangemets on budgetary discipline. This framework will be fixed by qualified majority, but it will constitute the total sum to be made available for the component parts of Community expenditure, which are themselves subject to budgetary discipline in the following manner. Article 1 of the Council conclusions on budgetary discipline provides that the Council will fix this amount in accordance with the financial guidelines governing expenditure on agricultural market support and with the maximum rate limit on non-obligatory expenditure. The guideline for agricultural expenditure states that its rate of increase must be less than the rate of growth of the own resources base. Articles 3, 4 and 5 of the budgetary discipline conclusions lay down the method for calculating the guideline each year. The rule for calculating the maximum rate for non-obligatory expenditure is laid down in article 203(9) of the European Community treaty. Provision will also be made within the reference framework for obligatory expenditue other than that on agricultural market support.

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