After severe food shortages during and after the last world war the EU instigated the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to ensure we had food security in Europe. Kippers love to moan about CAP.
Who remembers the food-rationing-coupons after the war? Remember WWII Atlantic convoys with grain shipments from Canada, torpedoed out of the water by ‘das bot’ ? Think there will never be another fuel crisis? Think terrorists will never take a pop at food exports from the third world? Imagine Boko Haram threatening to lace kenyan beans? Would you be glad the French could still fill some Waitrose shelves with ‘Haricot verts’?
So we protect our agricultural sector in the EU for good reason. The cheapest possible food price in the shops for EU consumers is not the be all and end all of EU agricultural policy. Today taking care of our countryside and bio-diversity is an important secondary goal. Anyway who do you think will profit most if we just left it to the market: EU consumers, poor villagers in Africa or the likes of Tesco, Sainsburys?
Back to CAP. Although reduced in size, CAP still is one of the most costly EU programmes we all benefit from in different ways, taking up about 40% of the EU’s budget. UKIP likes to say this adds nearly £400 a year to the household bills of poor British families, but funnily enough they plan to continue subsidising British farmers exactly the same!
So how is #UKIP going to save £55 M. a day if their Agricultural spokesman Stuart Agnew MEP proposes to pay UK farmers roughly the same amount per acre as the current EU’s CAP Single Farm Payment, typically worth approximately £210 per hectare (£85 per acre), per annum?
Is this another case of having your #UKIP pie and eat it?
- £80 per acre on lowland, pro-rata decrease on marginal and hill land, capped at £120,000 (1,500 lowland acres, pro rata higher acreage limits on other land)
- See last paragraph: Is it worth it? current EU’s CAP Single Farm Payment £85 per acre
- Leave the EU and save £55 million every day (p. 10)
- CAP shareof EU budget has decreased very sharply over the past 25 years, from 73% in 1985 to 41% in 2012