It may be hard to believe, but decades after being condemned as a grotesque waste of taxpayers money, the EU (through the Common Agricultural Policy) still give hundreds of thousands of £ in subsidies to rich farmers.
It is estimated that the Queen, (who is hardly on the breadline herself) receives approximately £404,000 a year in European subsidies for her Sandringham estate and at least £140,000 for Windsor Castle. Some of the richest British aristocrats, such as the Duke of Westminster, the Duke of Marlborough and the Earl of Leicester, are also known to receive hundreds of thousands of pounds each year. The reason is that the CAP gives subsidies depending on agricultural output. It is estimated that 80% of the CAP budget goes to the richest 20% of farmers.
The EU is now thinking of reforming this and placing a symbolic cut on the amount of subsidies that the richest farmers get. Subsidies over £100,000 will be reduced by 10%. The Queen may find herself losing upto £148,000 a year (perhaps we should pass a hat around)
Whilst large scale farmers get generous subsidies (basically for being … er rich and big) small farmers often struggle due to squeezed profit margins and declining markets.
- Off with their subsidies at Independent