HC Deb 26 January 1987 vol 109 c16W
Mr. Gould

asked the Prime Minister whether she will bring up to date the figures given in her written answer to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) dated 19 July 1985, Official Report, columns 286–87, comparing the increase in European Economic Community spending with other increases; whether she is satisfied with the outcome for 1986 and the forecast for 1987; and if she will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

The information requested is set as follows:

  1. (i) Percentage increase in European Community spending between 1980 and 1985: 75.7 per cent.
  2. (ii) Percentage increase in the United Kingdom's gross contribution between 1980 and 1985: 100.3 per cent. (before taking account of the United Kingdom's 1000 mecu abatement in the 1985 budget) or 68.8 per cent. (after taking it into account).
  3. (iii) Percentage increase in United Kingdom general Government expenditure for the financial years 1980–81 to 1985–86: 46.3 per cent.

The rapid increase in Community expenditure in 1986, though regrettable, was due in large part to enlargement and the exceptional circumstance of the rapid and substantial fall in the value of the dollar. In the Government's view, the budget for 1987 must respect budget discipline. No budget has yet been agreed.

Mr. Austin Mitchell

asked the Prime Minister whether the outturn for the EEC budget for 1985 was consistent with the agreements reached at Fontainebleau; whether the same is expected to apply of 1986 and 1987; and if she will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

Yes. The United Kingdom received an abatement of 1000 mecu (£605 million) from the 1985 budget in respect of 1984 and 1900 mecu (£1,250 million) from the 1986 budget in respect of 1985. The Community has not yet adopted a budget for 1987.