HC Deb 12 July 1996 vol 281 cc331-2W
Mr. Bernard Jenkin

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on action by the European Commission to incur expenditure on projects to assist the elderly without legal authority. [37690]

Mr. Dorrell

My Department has become aware that the European Commission has invited applications for funding for measures to assist the elderly. Such action has not been agreed by the Council of Ministers. The Government firmly believe that the Commission does not have the legal authority to commit expenditure of this kind without the endorsement of all member states in the Council. The Government have, therefore, lodged an application in the European Court of Justice challenging this planned expenditure. This challenge is necessary to ensure legality, financial propriety and democratic accountability in Commission spending.

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