To-days Guardian reply

james armstrong james36armstrong at
Mon Jan 3 17:03:56 GMT 2011

CAP Reply to  to-days Guardian letter  

£billion Annual CAP payments


Receivers of CAP payments in UK
in 2009 included, Grants Whisky,

Gaynor Cider, 
Buckfast Abbey, Nat West Bank, Bank of Zurich , Jonjo O’Neill Racing,
Puddletown Rugby Club,  Dorset Polo
Club,  The Belvoir Hunt, Taylor Woodrow, National
Farmers Union, a butterfly  farm, master
of fox hounds  and a donkey sanctuary .

CAP subsidies in £millions are paid  not only to individuals but to companies ,
many of them giant plc corporations  such
as  Kraft , Unilever and  Nestle , so its not helpful  to characterise CAP as “allowing a  dwindling number of farmers to stay in
business”  (Huw Roland’s letter, “Cheap
Food Subsidy” 3rd January) 

- It ain’t cheap, it ain’t spent on food but it surely is a subsidy
– to land-owners-  and its  paid in secret. 

In that year RSPB Scotland received  £1.1 million and RSPB England received
£3.0million. The Queen received £500,000 for privately owning Sandringham
Estates, and the Duchy a little less. The 
largest single payment, at £81million, 
was to British Sugar plc  in connection
with a bio-ethanol plant in Norfolk.  Paddocks for 
ponies qualify. The 900,000 acres needed for some 900,000 ponies in UK
are subsidized by CAP cheques for tens of  £millions.

joined the EEC in 1973 .   Thirty seven
years , and £100 billion of CAP cheques later - farms  have grown larger swallowing up smaller
units: agricultural workers (including hands-on farmers) are among  the lowest paid in the country and
consequently have left the industry in droves: land prices- fuelled by  CAP payments- have rocketed with knock-on
effects on rural house prices-  and UK wheat
prices last harvest reached a record £170 per tonne.

   The need is for
openness about the huge CAP benefit cheques received annually by a tiny privileged
 sector of  the population, 197,000 of them  - that would include all  the rich landowners and many giant plc
multinational corporations. It is a 'Sheriff of Nottingham Tax'  paid 
unknowingly by  UK tax-payers.


My family receives some £8,000 as state pension, and no CAP

It  would be helpful
if M.P.s (and others) when talking about European affairs,  cuts in services, the Budget and other money
matters, and especially when pontificating about  'reforming CAP'  declared  their CAP interest.


James  Armstrong, Dorchester
, Dorset.

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