Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Farmers: it's another crisis.

Catching up with the local papers, I see that farmers in our area aren't happy.

It seems that their Government hand-outs have been late arriving in their bank account this year.

Our MP John Hayes has taken up their cause.

Apparently, with only 80 per cent of hand-outs received so far, farmers are facing financial difficulties.

Two questions:

1. Why do we taxpayers hand farmers bags of cash year after year?

2. Have you ever seen a farmer on a push-bike?

2 comments:

Brynley said...

1. There is no problem in principle with subsidy. The problem has been that the wrong things have been subsidised. Until recently the taxpayer was subsidising production (as if the U-boats were still threatening our food supplies). Now the subsidy has switched to acreage, which is not really an improvement. Who would object to subsidy if it were all linked to landscape enhancement, nature conservation and less chemical imputs...in other words subsidise only the things which the public is looking for and would not get done anyway.

2. The jibe about farmers and bikes is out of date. Most of the upland farming in England (not Lincs, then) is a chronic loss-maker without subsidy and yet we want to support them as landscape managers.

fairdealphil said...

Thanks Brynley.

I'm told the EU actually subsidises tobacco growing in Italy. It could be just another bent banana myth of course!