Home Politics & Debate
If you need urgent support, call 999 or go to your nearest A&E. To contact our Crisis Messenger (open 24/7) text THEMIX to 85258.
Read the community guidelines before posting ✨

Why do we give money to wealthy French farmers?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I am pro EU, but I don't really understand the common agricultural policy. The idea is the French farmers want more money, so everyone in the EU gives them money and in exchange the EU ticks along. France would threaten to disassemble an EU without their farmer subsidy.

I don't get it personally. Can anyone explain? It's like how people voluntarily give money to wealthy Mexican coffee growers....

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From what I can tell it's a trade off. France won't let go of this rebate thing, but we still need to be helping out university research in Poland and community projects in Germany and so on and so forth.

    In addition, the EU money doesn't go to the treasury of whatever government, so for research in Austria, the Austrian government don't get anything, it goes to the project directly. So it's possible to be a net contributor of EU money as country. I believe France is one of these net contributors, so they'll get less back to their farmers than the French government will be putting into the pot.

    Lastly, I'm not sure it's helpful to complain about French farmer in this context. We all, if we look, will find something that EU money goes to that we think it shouldn't go to. Maybe the french feel that the WAY they farm should be protected because of cultural heritage, like the Lincolnshire sausage.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But surely that could be said about our farmers - who are currently going out of business at the rate of 3 a week!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, but apparently as a country we don't care. However, as an example of something that perhaps the citizens of Spain or Italy find absurd, the BBC has received millions in EU grants...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well it's more than about time we should! I think people should realise quite how important to our economy, culture, food security etc it is to have British farmers and having enough to food so that we don't need to import very much
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Yes, but apparently as a country we don't care. However, as an example of something that perhaps the citizens of Spain or Italy find absurd, the BBC has received millions in EU grants...

    Could be a reason it doesn't criticise it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There's a lot wrong with the BBC, but the balance and objectivity it has I don't think is one.

    What's your criticism of EU grants though? Seeing as you feel the Beeb has been bought.

    Also, Auntie Beeb has this Q&A on the budget discussions
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think France receives way more 'back' than it should. Here is a pretty graph: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8036097.stm#start

    Notice the Netherlands net contribution is larger than that of France.

    I am all for socialism and funding good projects, I just dont see the incentive for funding farmers.

    Also MissRiot I believe British farmers can also receive CAP payments - but note that we have far far fewer than France so as a percentage of economy its a tiny drop in the ocean.

    _49009301_cap_alloc_464.gif
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What I do think is important, and I agree broadly that there are imbalances, is to correct the imbalance of contribution as a percentage of income
    graph_percent_gni_466x485.gif
    Also, France is among the highest net contributors. I.E, french government puts in, more than is received by french citizens/projects/etc
    graph_net_contrib_466x485.gif
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    British farmers are going out of business because of domestic corporate decisions, not the CAP, without which more would go under. British farmers are going bust because supermarkets buy their bacon from Denmark and their chicken from Poland, and consumers don't give a toss. That's business.

    As for the CAP, it is one of those things we could get rid of if we were prepared to give up our privileges. We get a rebate. we have the power of veto over the EU budget. I'm sure France could negotiate on CAP if we did too, but we won't so they won't either. Which is entirely reasonable really.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's not about 'saving british farmers' I worry about, but the broader issue of well, saving farmers. From what?

    From what I can understand, the main reason was that France didn't want to give up its protectionism, so it was given the CAP in exchange for free trade in other things.

    But I guess I think there comes a point where an economy as large as France doesn't need to be subsidised, the entire reason the UK gets a rebate is because of the exorbitant amount it would cost us otherwise, given the CAP. If we scrap the CAP then there's no need for a rebate and the EU budget goes down :).

    I'd rather we have more budget for science, research and social schemes than giving money to farmers.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    British farmers are going out of business because of domestic corporate decisions, not the CAP, without which more would go under. British farmers are going bust because supermarkets buy their bacon from Denmark and their chicken from Poland, and consumers don't give a toss. That's business.

    They don't exactly help themselves though, do they? How many times has British produce been banned abroad because of some disease caused by a direct result of dodgy farming practices in the UK? Hell, even in the most recent tuberculosis crisis an EC report pointed to systematic failures in the UK farming industry in dealing with infected animals, in the pursuit of profit.
    The EC report stated: "Local authority surveys provided evidence that some cattle farmers may have been illegally swapping cattle ear tags, ie retaining TB-positive animals in their herds and sending less productive animals to slaughter in their place."

    BSE was caused by dodgy feeding practices, again in the pursuit of profit (no surprise that countries that grass-feed their cows have never had a single case). The 2001 foot and mouth crisis was initially caused by someone feeding untreated waste products to pigs and failing to inform the authorities of the outbreak. Of course, you may again blame corporations like Tesco for the pressure they put on farmers to drive down costs.

    On the main point, it's also been made about Spanish fishing vessels, which is far more of an issue, because they are then allowed to take all of their shiny new boats and fish in UK waters. But I guess the real issue is that individual governments choose where they spend their EU money, and if the UK government has other priorities, it should make the case for them. I've noticed you don't really hear too much about the finances of the EU.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    IWS I should point out that a large part of the 'export bans' were political. The standards on the continent are no better. In many cases today, they are worse.

    Also to everyone else: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2012/nov/22/eu-budget-interactive-money

    The average Brit pays ?180.38 and receives ?105.12 - of which ?15 goes to French farmers and Greece receives ?6.21. Doesn't sound just to me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Is that per population head? Numbers are relatively meaningless without context, france has a bigger population that greece doesn't it? And greece isn't known for it's agriculture...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The link I posted is a little interactive doodad thats worth looking through :). Its per head UK and then of the per head contribution in the UK, what slice of that goes to which country.

    So of UK contribution (180 euro per head):

    Growth - 80 Euro
    - Poland 17 Euro
    - Spain 11 Euro
    - Germany 8 Euro
    - Hungary 6 Euro
    - Greece 6 Euro
    - Portgual 5 Euro
    + others

    Farming - 65 Euro
    - France 15
    - Spain 10
    - Germany 9
    - Italy 8
    - GB 5
    + others

    Admin - 11 Euros

    Justice - 2 Euros

    'Partnership' - <1 Euro

    The whole CAP thing seems structured to me as a wealth transfer mechanism from richer EU countries to France. Excluding of course ourselves because of the rebate.
Sign In or Register to comment.