With the current system of Common Agricultural Policy farm subsidies (CAP) ending next year, the Scottish Government is currently looking at the system that shovels vast amounts of public money to landowners and 'slipper farmers' (i.e. people who own or rent land but do not even own a pair of wellies let alone farm anything, yet still receive a shitload of cash for doing fuck all).
Andy Wightman investigates:
'It’s hard to imagine the Government devising a new system of Jobseeker’s Allowance or Housing Benefit where the claimant is told they that their entitlement to such payments is just about to quadruple whether they like it or not. Indeed, with the total benefits cap set at £26,000 per year, the trend is in the opposite direction. It has long eluded me why, when the poorest in society suffer cuts and caps, some of the wealthiest not only appear to suffer no such pain, but are rewarded with largesse.
'I met a tenant farmer recently who told me that under the existing system of farming subsidies he receives £18,000 per year. That’s a fairly generous allocation. But under current proposals for the new system (to be introduced in 2015) he will receive £80,000. “I don’t need it”, he told me. He is not particularly wealthy but he doesn’t need the money. So why does it look likely that he will get it?
'The existing system of farm subsidies is coming to an end in December 2015 and the Scottish Government is currently finalising the details of the new system that will take its place and run until 2020. The existing (historic) system awarded subsidy (single farm payments - SFP) to farmers on the basis of what they received in 2000-2002. This is rather like paying tax this year on the basis of what you earned 14 years ago.' (Andy Wightman article).