HC Deb 14 July 1995 vol 263 cc831-2W
Mr. William Powell

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what calculations she has made on the impact for public expenditure of the United Kingdom signing the European Union social chapter; and if he will make a statement. [32871]

Mr. Forth

I have been asked to reply.

It is not possible to put an exact figure on the costs of the draft social chapter proposed at Maastricht because it is a mechanism for legislating rather than a body of legislation. However, there can be no doubt that accepting the social chapter would lead to legislation being imposed on the UK which would adversely affect public finances. Most important, the costs of public sector employers would be increased and the flexibility and competitiveness of British business reduced so that jobs would be lost and tax revenue reduced.