Big Farms Get The Bucks
The NGO Action Aid has produced some interesting figures on the subsidies received by wealthy English farmers. They show that four holdings in the UK received direct payments of over £1 million in 1997-8 and another twenty-nine received between half a million and a million. Individual cases include:
- The Duke of Westminster is the richest man in the UK. His largest arable farm, near Chester, is reported to be receiving about £300,000 a year in arable aid payments.
- Lord Iliffe is reported to be the 64th richest person in the UK. His Yattendon estate in Berkshire (not his only holding) received £365,578 in arable area and set aside payments in 2000. Since arable aid payments were introduced in 1992, it is estimated that he has received just under £3 million in transfers from taxpayers, most of them less well off than him.
- Lord de Ramsey is head of the de Ramsey estate. The Estate is reported to run to some 4,500 hectares in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. His three main farming companies received a total of £495,000 in arable aid payments in 1996, probably around £440,000 in 2000.
Figures from the Court of Auditors show at least twelve individual farmers in at least four member states received CAP related payments of over one million ECU in 1995. One British farmer took the jackpot with a cheque for 2.63 million ECU, while two of the largest arable farmers in Germany received over two million ECU in direct aids. These figures do not take account of any indirect support received through market intervention.
Ranking of area aid recipients in the five largest member states in 1995
| 1.German farmer, 3.34mECU |
| 2.British farmer, 2.63mECU |
| 3.Spanish farmer, 2.22mECU |
| 4.German farmer, 2.15mECU|
| 5.Spanish farmer, 2.07mECU|
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