Friday, November 9

Subsidies are only for rich people!

I hate subsidies, they never work, they distort the market, they provide very short term palliative care for a certain section, very very rarely are useful for the overall economy and live on forever and I have moaned about this earlier!

But see this story. Agricultural subsidies in the EU are directed to the richest, not the poorest. I quote:

Disclosures over the past two years have shown that Britain's elite
landowners harvest the lion's share of farming subsidies – a consistent source
of embarrassment for the EU's farm policy which is supposed to provide a
reasonable standard of living for poor farmers struggling to compete in the
global market, not redistribute taxpayers' money into the hands of a few

"This is a largely symbolic proposal but it will hit the pockets of
major landowners and that includes people like the Queen," said Jack Thurston,
co-founder of which campaigns for greater transparency over
payments. "We've known for a while now that roughly 80 per cent of the CAP goes
to the richest 20 per cent of farmers. Those who benefit from subsidies the most
have never been the poor struggling farmer."

The proposal, being drawn up by the European Commission, is the first
attempt in years to tackle the scandal of giant agri-businesses and millionaire
barley barons – as opposed to smallholders and family farmers – being the chief
beneficiaries of the Common Agricultural Policy. The plans, due to be submitted
for consultation with EU member states on 20 November, will suggest that some of
the largest payments to super-rich landowners and industrial farms could be
reduced by as much as 45 per cent.

So anything that reduces this horrendous misallocation of funds is to be welcomed. Mind you, this is just the proposal. Then the bloody politicians will get involved. Its like the difference between what's in the seed catalogue and what actually comes up!

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

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