HC Deb 21 October 1994 vol 248 cc374-5W
Mr. Matthew Banks

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make a statement on the most recent Council meeting of the Economic and Finance Ministers of the European Union.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

I represented the United Kingdom at the Economic and Finance Council of the European Union in Luxembourg on 10 October.

The Council reviewed progress on the employment aspects of the Commission's White Paper, on growth, competitiveness and employment and is likely to agree formal conclusions on this subject at the next meeting on 7 November in preparation for the European Council at Essen in December.

The Council asked the Commission for a study of the fiscal policies of member states and their effects on saving rates, for consideration by the spring of 1995.

The Council reached political agreement on the recommendations to 10 member states with a view to bringing excessive deficits to an end within a given period.

The Council welcomed the revised Spanish convergence programme and encouraged the Spanish authorities to reduce the deficit faster.

The Council briefly discussed the Italian reserve on the own-resources decision.

No formal notes were taken at the council meeting.