Farcical situation over farming subsidies for doing nothing

From: Roger Crossley, Fall View, Silkstone, Barnsley.

after watching the recent Panorama programme entitled The Money Farmers, I admit to being furious, but not surprised about the situation concerning farming subsidies.

I apologise for joining the debate somewhat late, but what a farcical situation we find ourselves in here.

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How is it that it is possible for anyone to easily get themselves registered as a farmer, and then sell their entitlement to subsidies to someone who has no intention of, or interest, in farming or caring for the land, and yet receive the subsidies?

Also, it seems that the size of the subsidies is based on the number of hectares, which means that huge tracts of land are eligible for subsidies while lying idle.

At a time when libraries, nurseries and numerous services are being cut through lack of funds or financial viability, millions of pounds of public money is being given to many of these “entitlement” owners for doing nothing.

Of course, we will be told that it isn’t as simple as that and that there are complications, even though various agencies concede to it being rather odd and seemingly unfair.

Nonsense. This is another example where we, the public, are being taken for mugs. “Complicated” is music to the ears of people who know how to work the system. One simple measure should be the allocation of subsidies based on actual land usage, both present and proposed for each hectare, but no doubt someone will tell us that it isn’t as simple as that.

But what is simple is the legislator who put the system in place at all, not foreseeing that there are “clever” people out there whose life is geared to manipulating systems to their advantage, knowing that they can get away with it because the system allows them to.

And don’t let us forget that many people behind this sort of thing are being paid a lot of money. Let’s get real.

From: Rodney Atkinson, Meadowfield Road, Stocksfield, Northumberland.

THE farcical European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy costs EU taxpayers £55bn a year.

It leads to massive waste, the bankruptcy of developing countries, less efficient farming practices and higher food costs for consumers.

But despite the catastrophic public finances across Europe, the EU is planning to increase the yearly funding for the CAP by more than £8bn a year by 2020.

Any other group of people proposing such madness would be carted off to the funny farm.

Yet another reason for leaving the rapidly sinking European Union.