HC Deb 04 November 1993 vol 231 cc468-9W
Mr. Marlow

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amount he expects to be paid to each EC country for each year between 1993 and 1999 arising from cohesion; and how much each non-recipient country would pay in each case based on(a) current projections and (b) on EC growth rates of (i)¼ per cent., (ii)½ per cent., (iii) 1 per cent. and (iv) 2 per cent. per annum less than those envisaged at the time of the Edinburgh summit.

Sir John Cope

Following the decisions of the European Council at Edinburgh on 11 and 12 December 1992, EC expenditure commitments in respect of cohesion are planned to be:

million ecu
Structural funds Cohesion funds
1993 prices
1993 20,627 1,575
1994 prices
1994 21,323 1,853
1995 22,747 2,118
1996 24,082 2,383
1997 25,444 2,648
1998 27,206 2,700
1999 29,017 2,753

The European Council also agreed the following indicative allocation of the cohesion fund:

Per cent.
Spain 52–58
Greece 16–20
Portugal 16–20
Ireland 7–10

All member states are expected to benefit from some cohesion spending. It is not possible to say yet exactly how these commitments will be allocated between member states because detailed programmes for the structural funds are still being discussed.

Member states' contributions to the Community budget are, in general, to the budget as a whole, rather than in respect of specific policies. Member states' contributions to the Community budget depend upon a number of factors, including the size and composition of the Community budget—which may affect the abatement of the United Kingdom's contribution—and relative growth —which may affect the VAT and GNP-based contributions. Member states' shares of total gross contributions in the 1993 adopted budget after taking account of the United Kingdom abatement, were:

Per cent.
Belgium 4.0
Denmark 2.0
Germany 29.0
Greece 1.0

Per cent.
Spain 9.0
France 18.0
Ireland 1.0
Italy 16.0
Luxembourg 0.2
Netherlands 6.0
Portugal 2.0
United Kingdom1 12.0
1 The cost of additional spending within the Community would normally be met by the GNP-based resource, at a cost to the United Kingdom of about 5 per cent. after abatement.

While these figures could be used to illustrate the cost of different policies, the effect of different growth patterns on spending on particular policies, and hence member states' contributions in respect of those policies, cannot be predicted. The effect would depend upon decisions which would be taken in the annual budgetary procedure to ensure respect for the own resources ceiling.