Farmers have mixed views on farm subsidy cap

Farmers are split over the idea of introducing a cap on the amount of single farm payment that an individual farmer could receive.

The concept is under discussion after The Independent picked up on leaked proposals from Brussels which was first reported by Farmers Weekly in September.

Writing on the FWiSpace discussion forums, TeslaCoils said a cap would be a great way to put young farmers like him off farming.

“I don’t want to see small farmers given advantages. Niche farmers maybe – but giving advantages to small scale commodity producers seems like suicide. It just helps the super markets and food firms screw us on prices.”

But Neil O disagreed: “I would suggest that a “young farmer” could expand a fair way before they got capped at a subsidy of 100,000 euros. I think it’s a great idea -as you can probably guess we come in at just under the threshold!”

In a letter of reply to The Independent, FW’s Europe Editor Philip Clarke said: “Your story on EU Commission plans to put a cap on farm subsidies, (“Off with their subsidies!”, 9 November), is a little one-sided.

“While at first glance the idea of limiting the amount of taxpayers’ money going to “super-rich landowners and industrial farms” is appealing, in practice it would do more harm than good.

“At a time when farmers are being urged to compete on the world market, taking almost half the subsidy away from the biggest amounts to a penalty on efficiency. It acts as a disincentive to farmers who want to grow their businesses. It would also make no difference to small farmers, who would not see their subsidies grow.”

What do you think about the idea of a cap on payments? Join the discussion on the forums?

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