HC Deb 12 December 1985 vol 88 cc725-6W
Mr. Gordon Brown

asked the Paymaster General if he will publish a table showing the total amount of money paid to Britain under the European Economic Community Social Fund in each year from 1979 to the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will list the figures (a) in cash terms, (b) in real terms at 1985 prices and (c) as a proportion of the total European Economic Community budget.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

[pursuant to his reply, 10 December 1985, c. 5801The information requested is given in the table:

Social fund payments—Great Britain Actual payments as proportion of EEC budget
Year Actual Real terms at 1985 prices
£ million £ million Per cent.
1979 66.2 39.2 0.79
1980 76.9 55.7 0.87
1981 111.9 90.2 1.30
1982 112.9 97.9 1.11
1983 69.6 63.1 0.5
1984 243.7 231.6 *
* Budget details not yet available.

The EEC budget operates within a calendar year and the figures given refer to payments received from January to December each year.

The dip in receipts experienced in 1983 is due to EEC budgetary difficulties which slowed down the level of payments, some of which were carried over into the following year. In 1984, new social fund rules were introduced which for the first time allow advance payments to be made automatically to all approved schemes for that year. This, coupled to the payments carried over from 1983, explains the wide variance between the two years.