§ Lord Tebbit
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will list those items of public expenditure which were subject to increase in the year 1992/3 consequent upon European Community decisions over which Parliament had no control.
The Earl of Caithness
The main effects of European Community decisions on public expenditure in the United Kingdom are: net payments by the United Kingdom to European Community institutions; receipts from the EC budget under the Common Agriculture Policy and the Structural Funds, which affect the level of departmental spending programmes; and payments to the EC budget attributed to the aid programme. For these items of public expenditure the increases between 1991–1992 and 1992–1993 were:
£ million Net payments to EC institutions1 +1,064 Structural Funds +367 CAP +75 Aid −11 1 The large increase in net payments to European Community institutions is as a result of the uneven profile which results from timing of adjustments to the UK's contributions mainly because contributions are paid on the basis of estimates agreed in advance and adjusted in the light of outturn, and from subsequent correction to the UK's abatement. The level of net payments in 1991–92 was unusually low as a result of an extreme example of these effects.
The European Communities Act 1972 provides the authority for the United Kingdom's contributions to the European Community budget. Information on Community expenditure which has an impact on departments' spending is provided to Parliament in Estimates and departmental reports. In addition, Explanatory Memoranda are provided on new Community proposals, including the annual Community budget. Explanatory Memoranda detail the financial implications of proposals, where appropriate, and may be debated by Parliament.