[Diggers350] 300,000 jobs we can pay for

Dan Powell dan at gaiapro.co.uk
Sun Nov 28 17:14:01 GMT 2010

Thanks for all your mails over the last months regarding CAP payments. It
is absolutely right that public money paid from the public CAP purse be
publicised on the web for all to peruse. HOWEVER.............I am not sure
I completely share your view that all recipients are rich bastards.
Undoubtedly many are, and a much bandied about statistic regarding the
proportion of payments paid i.e. 80% of payments go to 10% of recipients,
is also probably true and endorses your view. But this means that 80% of
farmers are only receiving 10% of the CAP budget and your scrapping of the
scheme in total, may well hurt many of the type of farmers that you may
want to actually support. As with all centralised political support, CAP
payments are a very blunt instrument that sets out to achieve some kind of
indirect market support to rural incomes. In my experience with small
family farms in the UK the CAP payment almost always equals about the farm
business profit where no other income is typically available to the
business. Termination or serious capping of the payment will effect a huge
change to these type of businesses that also tend to be in the more
marginal areas of the UK (west and uplands. This may not be the case with
large farm businesses (typically in the southern and Eastern areas) where
it represents another (taxable) income stream to the business.
You may know already that the CAP is undergoing as we write, the latest in
a number of reforms that have shifted the emphasis of the CAP from
production support to area and environmentally tied support. This has been
going on in one form or another for about 20 years or so with the EU
embarrassed by the amount the CAP has usually taken up of the EU budget as
a whole.
I whole-heartedly agree with you that farm businesses that do not need the
CAP payment due to being either very successful farms (not many I suspect)
or by having other income streams (very many) should not benefit from the
However I do worry about the 80% above of whom many will face extinction
without some kind of support, mainly due to the fact that the raw material
they use for their business - the land -  is not as flat, inherently
fertile or simply easier to rationalise, as most of the 10% of the above.
Means tested, capped CAP payments may be a way forward if we are to avoid
as Simon says, cheap imports from abroad or significant price hikes in
food prices.

Dan Powell

> If we scrap CAP subsidies  the majority of our food will be imported
> form the North America, Australia/NZ  and developing countries.
> The problem is not the subsidies (though tariffs would be better) —
> they are needed to make UK  farming viable in a competitive
> capitalist market.  The problem is the concentration of land in large
> farms.
> Simon
> On 27 Nov 2010, at 15:46, james armstrong wrote:
>> 300,000 jobs at the  minimum wage £12,000 p.a. can be saved if we
>> scrap CAP payments.costing £3.9billion .p.a. write your MP and ask,
>> Does your family receive CAP payments? How much?,  Then I'll
>> publish them all  on a web site and campaign to stop this madness
>> of secret
>> payments to rich bustards .
>> James

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