The Crisis in Farming     II     Subsidies

1. This dishonest government is hellbent on leading the British Public to believe that everything produced by farmers is subsidised by the British Taxpayer.

2. The CAP is an EU regime and a condition of membership. All any member country can do is lobby for change. There is little hope of that as most members want it to stay. The old basis of the CAP was German industry underpinning French Agriculture but things have since moved on.

3. Originally there was a balancing mechanism for the impact of exchange rates. All subsidies are paid in Euros and are influenced by market prices. Thatcher gave up the UK's right to a full funding of the impact of a strong pound when she won the enormous reduction in the UK's contribution. The UK has saved billions as a result - but now the pound is strong the UK will not pay it's share and claim the balance. Richard North is always banging on about it. As a consequence of FMD the price of lamb took off vertically in the EU and the resultant subsidy reduced at a time when UK producers had very low prices. The last year has been a disaster.

4. The ONLY sectors that are subsidised are a)Beef ( an annual payment per cow capped by a farm's owned quota plus two payments per steer.) and b) sheep with an annual payment per ewe, again based on quota ownership. Contrary to the lies of Beckett and Co. the Arable sector do not receive subsidy. The setaside payment is based on a mandatory reduction in output regime and represents compensation.
All the other sectors, to the best of my knowledge get nothing. i.e. milk, pigs, chickens, eggs, vegetables etc. etc. Every sector is overloaded with paperwork and regulations which make competing with other EU countries almost impossible.

5. The proposed enlargement of the EU poses huge problems as those countries ( Poland, Hungary etc.) will qualify for huge handouts in subsidies unless the system is changed. This is the EU hidden agenda. If they can switch support to voluntary national environment schemes it will save them billions. The low cost economies will give us enough pain as it is. To compete against international low prices from within a high cost economy ( supporting people like Beckett and her staff) is going to be very difficult with our self-imposed problems.

6. Modulation (the capping of the amount of subsidy a farm can be paid) REMEMBER THAT THE OFT QUOTED EXAMPLE IS ARABLE WHEN THE OPERATIVE WORD IS COMPENSATION, is something the CLA and NFU have always resisted as they instinctively support the big boys. I have always believed that it was a matter of degree and some lines could be drawn. Up until now they were talking of the need for redistribution to the smaller family farms. I don't hear that mentioned these days - I think they just want money back.

My forefinger is getting weary making these "points"