§ Lord Stoddart of Swindon
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they have agreed to submit plans for taxation and expenditure to EC Finance Ministers, and if so why and upon what authority.
§ The Minister of State, Department of Transport (Lord Brabazon of Tara)
The meeting of the Council of Economics and Finance Ministers of the European Community on 8th July 1991 agreed that the member states should act to promote economic convergence by submitting multi-annual programmes for economic policy. This is intended to reinforce the process of multilateral surveillance of economic policies agreed in the Convergence Decision of 12th March 1990 (90/141/EEC).
The Government have led the way in the formulation of multi-annual economic policy programmes, having had a medium-term financial strategy for the past 11 years. The Government's contribution to this exercise will be based on the MTFS published with the budget last March. There is no question of submitting plans for future public spending or the budget to ECOFIN before they are announced to Parliament.