Thanks to an article over on Sound and Fury, I discovered that the entire database of EU farm subsidies is now available on-line for our perusal, thanks to a volunteer effort by journalists, researchers and computer programmers.
This is fantastic and scary stuff. I have always wondered where this money came from and where it went, and now we can trawl through the data at our own convenience.
This video gives the background and a whole lot of surprising facts (click to launch it on the external site, I could not embed it directly):
The major things that struck me were that fully one quarter of the 55 billion Euro dished out per year (over 40% of the EU’s budget) goes to, of course, Big Business. And another large chunk goes to big landowners, the exact opposite of what we are led to believe (that the CAP is in place to support small farmers).
A couple of examples plucked from this excellent article on the subject:
- The largest recipient of “aid” in the UK is the food giant Tate and Lyle, who pocket €134,069,000.
- The Queen of England received £473,500 in farm aid in 2008. Because, you know, she needs it.
Think what this money could be used for instead of lining pockets that require no further lining and propping up inefficient industries. It’s all a bit sickening.
So the conclusion? We are being bum-fucked by out politicians who are once again channelling out money to themselves, their friends and the powerful people who support them. Small farmers? Taxpayers? Transparency? Fuck ’em. Fuck ’em all good and hard.
The next time the farmers are out complaining about their incomes, we should join them, and complain about the large part of OUR incomes that is being ripped out of our hands and handed directly to the people who least need it. Anybody else who is tired of being lied to?