EC Financing

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th November 1992.

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Photo of Mr Teddy Taylor Mr Teddy Taylor , Southend East 12:00 am, 10th November 1992

To ask the Prime Minister if he will raise at the next meeting of the European Council the issue of contributions by member states.

Photo of Mr John Major Mr John Major , Huntingdon

The European Community's future financing arrangements are currently under review. This will be one of the issues on the agenda of the European Council meeting at Edinburgh in December.

Photo of Mr Teddy Taylor Mr Teddy Taylor , Southend East

As Britain's net contribution this year will be £2·6 billion, which is about £4 per week per family of four in Britain, and as the Court of Auditors has told us that much of that is spent on waste, fraud and food destruction, will the Prime Minister advise President Mitterrand and the others that it would be wholly unacceptable to expect the people of Britain to pay a great deal more for the potential huge extra costs of Maastricht when life is so hard for everyone in Europe at the present time?

Photo of Mr John Major Mr John Major , Huntingdon

I agree entirely with my hon. Friend on the continuing need for restraint in Community spending overall. I have already made it clear that President Delors' future proposals are excessive and that we will not be able to support them. The Community, as with each individual member state, should not spend more than it can afford. It will remain our priority in the negotiations up to and including those at Edinburgh to secure firm budgetary discipline and value for money for all Community spending.