Tuesday, June 24, 2008

EU's Common Agricultural Policy exposed

I was recently linked to by "CAP Health Check" a blog that seeks to present as much information as it can about the European Union's dastardly Common Agricultural Policy (you know the policy of food sovereignty and food security that Sue Kedgley effectively has been endorsing). It seeks greater accountability and transparency about expenditure on EU farm subsidies. As someone paying for these (as well as a national from a country suffering from them), I'm rather keen to see it.

A sister site is Farmsubsidy which has some fascinating data, including google mapping the address where farm subsidies are received (so far only Sweden is complete). Go here, focus on Stockholm to see how many farm owners seem to be based in the downtown Stockholm - clearly struggling village producers. A similar map of the UK would have to include Clarence House London, as the Prince of Wales receives taxpayer subsidies for his farms. Nice. It shows the pony clubs in Denmark that receive over 255m Euro in subsidies. Ireland is the biggest per capita net recipient of farm subsidies, Luxembourg the biggest net per capita loser. However per farm the biggest recipient is Denmark, the lowest Malta (average UK farm gets more than the average French farm, because the latter are small and inefficient).

The UK gets 4.3 billion yes billion Euro in agricultural subsidies, but contributes 5.6 billion to the EU to fund agricultural subsidies, so is a net loser. What this means is that the average British taxpayer is paying 22 euros a year to subsidise farms outside the UK. The average UK farm gets around 12,000 euros a year, not bad really. 49% of the UK subsidies go to the top 10% of farms. 295 recipients get an average of over £500,000 a year in subsidies!! The biggest bludger last year was J & T F McFarlane getting around £552 000 (appears to be a Scottish beef farm).

Nice piece of work collecting data, and listing all those who make a living partly out of the theft of taxes from the rest of us through Brussels.

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