European Economic Community

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th March 1971.

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Photo of Mr Eric Deakins Mr Eric Deakins , Walthamstow West 12:00 am, 30th March 1971

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the balance of payments surplus in 1973, on the assumption that the United Kingdom enters the European Economic Community and makes a 3 per cent. initial contribution to the Community budget.

Photo of Mr Maurice Macmillan Mr Maurice Macmillan , Farnham

Our intention is to maintain a surplus which is adequate to our needs. The cost of a 3 per cent. contribution would be about £30 million net.

Photo of Mr Eric Deakins Mr Eric Deakins , Walthamstow West

Can the hon. Gentleman say, if the balance of payments situation deteriorates, whether the economy in 1973 will be able to sustain an initial contribution higher than the 3 per cent. offered, thinking in terms of the 7 per cent. or 8 per cent. which seems to be the inevitable compromise in the negotiations?

Photo of Mr Maurice Macmillan Mr Maurice Macmillan , Farnham

The hon. Gentleman is making rather too much of this. The rate of export credit is going at something like £300 million, not £30 million, a year. There are many factors in our balance of payments which have to be taken into account, and this contribution is only one of them.

Photo of Mr Tom Normanton Mr Tom Normanton , Cheadle

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking by way of preparation for Great Britain to join the European Economic Community, to ensure that taxation policies are brought into line with those currently, or prospectively, operating in the Community.

Photo of Mr Terence Higgins Mr Terence Higgins , Worthing

Due weight is being given, in the Government's review of taxation, to progress made within the Community towards harmonising the structure of taxation.

Photo of Mr Tom Normanton Mr Tom Normanton , Cheadle

I thank my hon. Friend for his reply, and I appreciate the reasons for its brevity. May I ask him to urge upon his right hon. Friend the vital need to continue to draft fiscal measures which will serve as an incentive to those who respond to this type of policy, and be a sharp spur to those who react better to such measures?

Photo of Mr Terence Higgins Mr Terence Higgins , Worthing

I am not sure that I can rise to the heights of my hon. Friend's argument. I will certainly bear in mind what he says.