£3.4billion p.a

james armstrong james36armstrong at hotmail.com
Mon Sep 20 22:42:55 BST 2010

There are worse inequalities than those shown on Panorama
to-night , where Mark Thomson DG of the BBC was shown to be receiving £800,000
p.a. ..

Payments to UK  farmers in 2009 via the CAP regime of the
Common Market reached 

£3billion plus (actually £3.4 billion) 

The justification given in the Treaty of Rome is to reward
struggling farmers to keep them on the land and the food on the nation’s

 The total UK
handout in 2009 was £3,426,076, 230 ,  which was distributed to 197,340 farmers.   (pause to consider that the first objective
is  immediately seen to have failed. Not a
long time ago some 1 million people were employed  in farming.)


The second objective 
has also failed –because it is not the struggling farmers who have been
rewarded but the wealthy survivors who have bought up the small farms, run
farms together  and put the former owners
out of business. 

Here are the distribution figures of CAP in 2009 


The total payout was £3,426,076,230 (some £3.4billion) 

 And was distributed
to 197,340 payees. Think of them not as farmers but as giant land barons,   huge farming conglomerates  running several farms  often 
located in different counties as a single giant business. Some  are ‘cheesy’ food processing industries -
sugar mills are one example and a well known maker of cheese slices another.


    As well as the
stupendous  size of this annual
handout  it is the division among the
receivers which is  of interest. 

If we suspend belief and take the rationale of the handouts
as genuine then we could establish a division between those who need help and
those who don’t..

Ensuring that 
struggling farmers received the 
equivalent of the minimum wage, an income of some £12,750 per annum,  would seem to fulfil the  aims of the 
Common Agricultural Policy.

Of the   197,300 who receive
CAP grants , 132,709  ,or 68 % , receive
less that  the minimum wage. This
accounts for ‘just’  £448,612,,766 ( if
you can use the term ‘just’ for half a billion quid)

Compare the  remaining
64,680 recipients who receive sums in excess of the minimum wage.   There are 
64,680 of these barley barons, 
some 32% of the total , but they receive a staggering £2,972,463, 500  or 87% of the handouts. 

This explodes  the
justification of the CAP handouts.  These
are annual payouts, to plutocats who qualify by owning land. .  Between 2008 and 2009 the payout rose by 23
%   Leaving this anomaly unreformed drives
a  horse and cart  (sorry) through the  Coalition’s claim to be cutting
unnecessary  public expenditure.    


The list includes 
Richard Drax, M.P. at £417,847 p.a.  .

The largest agribusiness is British Sugar who receive a
staggering £81, 490,734 (£81  million)
.   The royal owner of Sandringham
estates received £778,000 and the royal owner of the Duchy lands of Cornwall
and Lancaster received   £579,000.

And that’s a bonus – for being a landowner – before you earn
a meagre crust from selling the produce of the soil.       .  


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