Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby, Labour)
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what payments account for the difference between the UK's net contribution to the EU budget in 2009 and the UK's current account balance with EU institutions in 2009.
Nick Hurd (The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office; Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, Conservative)
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.
Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2011:
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question to asking what payments account for the difference between the UK's net contribution to the EU budget in 2009 and the UK's Current Account balance with EU institutions. (43943)
The data published in the Pink Book are consistent with the concepts and definitions in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Balance of Payment's Manual version 5 (BPM5) which is the internationally agreed framework for the compilation and presentation of Balance of Payments statistics. The UK's current account transactions with EU institutions in 2009 are published in Pink Book 2010, table 5.1, pp 78-80, and are largely based on HM Treasury data on UK transactions with the EU, as published in the White Paper (table 3.1, p21).
Some of the HM Treasury data are incorporated directly into the Pink Book, for example, figures for abatement receipts and VAT based contributions. However, some of the HM Treasury data need to be modified prior to incorporation, for reasons such as to bring the figures onto an accruals basis and to present them on a calendar year, rather than a financial year basis. Additionally, some of the HM Treasury data feed into the UK's capital account, rather than the current account, for example, receipts from the Agricultural Fund for Regional Development and European Regional Development Fund. These are shown in the Pink Book 2010, table 6.1, p. 85. Total official transactions between the UK and institutions of the EU (including current and capital account transactions) are published in the Pink Book 2010, table 9.9, p.161.