eu subsidies/3rd world

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by growler, Jul 5, 2005.

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  1. Source: www.punchycomment.com


    Sorry that this is cut and pasted but I can't match this site for pithy/relevant copy. Relevant to all the antics going on in Scotland this week?



    Supertone has been under inevitable pressure over our precious EU rebate, first established by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980's when we were a poorer performing economic country than we certainly are now. Bearing in mind the improvement in our economic performance in comparison to the major European countries and the "accession" of ten less fortunate and poorer countries, the retention of our rebate argument is, to say the least, tenuous.
    Inevitably, as I forecast months ago, the government has been under a lot of pressure to either give the rebate up entirely or at least accept a lower figure over the next economic cycle and budgetary period of the EU. 
    Supertone, with his back to the wall trying to defend the indefensible, has decided to try to trade a bit of the rebate against a drastic revision of the EU Common Agricultural Policy. That there has to be a revision is inevitable but that France and some others will fight to the death to defend the status quo is also inevitable. CHECKMATE.
    As part of the fight for change, the accent has been placed recently on sugar subsidies.
    FACT. Through taxes and high shop prices Europe is one of the highest cost sugar producers while, at the same time being one of the leading world exporters. We are paying European farmers to produce more sugar than we consume and dumping the subsidised surpluses overseas. This undercuts sugar farmers in poor countries, quite a few of whom can produce sugar at cheaper prices.
    This same system has in the past produced wine lakes and butter and grain mountains, all of which have either been poured down the drain or given away to the detriment of farmers overseas. Why give aid when you can help the local farmer to grow his own crops? Ask Europe and America!
    WHAT ABOUT THIS? The 49 poorest countries are allowed to export the equivalent of three days European consumption each year. This is the same amount that is produced on only 15 farms in Norfolk!! How equitable is that?
    Needless to say, there are some very fat cats barely surviving on the subsidy gravy train. While talking about sugar lets think of Lord de Ramsey, 7,000 acres, manor house and all the trappings. Now I am not a jealous person who wishes to deny others their good luck and their family heirlooms but why should he get £500,000 a year in subsidies? Surely that is a valid question that needs an answer?
    Actually, while talking about farming subsidies why not lets mention our favourite breadline farmers.
    The Queen, last year got over £500,000 for her farms in Sandringham and Windsor.
    Duke of Bedford, probably down to his last 5 Bentleys, nearly £400,000 last year.
    Duke of Westminster, Britain's 3rd richest man, also £500,000.
    Prince of Wales, something like £250,000, obviously one of the poorer members of the community.
    Duke of Northumberland, £450,000.
    The joke of it all is that under the new payment system of subsidies according to the amount of land owned rather than by amount produced, these gentlemen cannot go wrong. Neither can any other farmer who can afford to buy his neighbour's land.
    Big is best in farming and has always been so.
     
    Thought for the week. A sugar cane cutter in Mozambique earns under £300 per year and considers himself lucky because he has at least got a job! I wonder if any of the above -mentioned Dukes know that? What do you think?      
     
  2. The problem is that the subsidised EU sugar gets just replaced with subsidised sugar from medium level countries like Brazil. It helps the really poor countries like Mocambique f*ck all.

    Jan
     
  3. Yes the massive profits made by large UK land owners is wrong.
    Do you have comparable figures for continental land owners are they also massive players on their national game?
    john
    PS And the French will fight to the death ! interesting very intresting.
     
  4. I don't think the purpose of the subsidies is to make landowners rich. Its for food security - to avoid relying on food travelling 1000's of miles to our tables which could be disrupted in the event of a major war. Its very expensive (40% of the EU budget) and there must be a better way of ensuring food security.

    Tricam.