§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Prime Minister, further to her written answer of 28 February 1985, Official Report, column 303, to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby concerning the cost of the common agricultural policy, whether she will publish in the Official Report figures showing by how much common agricultural policy expenditure has increased since 1984 compared to the increase in the European Economic Community's own resources base; and if she will make a statement.
§ The Prime Minister
The financial guideline for agriculture first applied to expenditure in 1986. In that year the budget provision for expenditure, excluding that in Spain and Portugal, was 9.2 per cent. higher than in the base period used for the calculation of the guideline (the average of 1984 and 1985), compared with an 8.5 per cent. increase in the own resources base.
The Council agreed in July 1986, as provided for in the conclusions on budget discipline, that the 1986 reference framework including the agricultural guideline could be increased because of exceptional circumstances resulting from the decline in the United States dollar.
For 1987, the draft budget provides for agricultural guarantee expenditure to rise at a rate no higher than the increase in the own resources base (an increase compared with the base period of 13.4 per cent. excluding Spain and Portugal).