08 August 1997
Report slams aid to arable farmers
By Amanda Cheesley in Brussels
ARABLE farmers have been over-compensated and the subsidy regime for cereal growers is too complex, according to a report released by the European Union Commission yesterday.
In a bid to defend its proposed cutbacks of 20% for cereal support prices by the year 2000, the commission released a detailed report yesterday criticising the current regime.
The report said arable payments had become overly complex, with an excessive number of different payments, including set-aside, penalties and aid rates.
It also claimed that EU cereal farmers have been over-compensated by £6.1 billion over the past four years, when farmers were paid for predicted falls in world grain prices which never happened.
The report adds that cereal stocks are estimated to reach 58 million tonnes by 2005 and that the trade deficit for oilseeds will remain high if current rules stay the same.