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Changes to farming subsidies proposed – possibly

  • by JW

“I speculated, about a year ago, that faced with this cliff edge, Defra were going to have to hurriedly dust off the old EU Basic Payment Scheme, and roll it out again before things went South.”


Will the government be ‘bringing back’ the ‘Common Agricultural Policy’ and its system of subsidies?

Changes to farming subsidies proposed – or not – Vision Group for Sidmouth

The last couple of days have only provided more confusion:

Brexit fury as Truss poised to keep hated EU law ‘impoverishing’ farmers: ‘Grave mistake’ | Science | News |

How Truss’s post-Brexit farming policy descended into chaos | Farming | The Guardian

Former environment secretary urges successor not to drop nature-friendly farming scheme | Farming | The Guardian

Conservative Party conference: Calls grow for government rethink on energy efficiency and nature policies | BusinessGreen News Analysis

Deliver on plans to pay farmers for restoring nature, Government urged | Express & Star

Back in June of this year, Dartmoor farmer and commentator was very confused by the seeming ever-changing policies:

The government has published more information about its proposed changes in subsidies: How we’re making sure all farm businesses can fairly access money released from Basic Payments – Future Farming

However, there’s a huge amount of scepticism within the farming community. Dartmoor farmer Anton Coaker comments in the WMN: “I don’t know where the money’s going, because few of us can make sense of the mishmash that’s currently under development. There are various different overlapping ideas, still being changed on the fly.”

The end of farm subsidies – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Here is the opening and conclusion of his latest weekly column in the Western Morning News:

COLUMNIST: Our Thursday columnist is Dartmoor farmer Anton Coaker, who says food insecurity has rattled Whitehall…

Today I’ve a bit of a spindly thread for you to follow.

Boris – remember him? – was chummy with various rich clots, who imagined their money made them clever. And one of the clever wheezes they loved was the idea that, irrespective of how your lucre was made, if you vaguely look after nature in one place, it’ll be OK to hammer it flat with new houses/roads/airports/industrial parks/endless consumption everywhere else. An extension of the ideology is the subconscious salving of guilt, by supporting rewilding/tree planting/wetland protection/species reintroduction etc. It’s a bit like putting a very big tenner in the Greenpeace collection tin.

You can still wear plastic clothes, stitched together by a child in a distant sweatshop, and inevitably destined to become microfibres swilling about the ocean. You can still hop on a plane for a bit of sun, and dine on whatever fad diet is the thing of the moment, flown half way across the world to satisfy your fickle shallow needs. You can drive your car down the road, with the metals smelted, the tyres manufactured, and the whole shebang fuelled by endless fossil fuel consumption, and scrabble for more money to do even more of it. But if you fervently shout that – for instance – Anton’s cows are destroying the planet, by eating some grass and burping, you’re doing your bit.

Never mind how I feel about this, follow the bread crumb trail.

While the old EU ‘Basic Payment Scheme’, which simply paid farmers a flat rate of subsidy according to how big their farm was, has been wound down, the new ELMS schemes were supposed to replace it. But with these latter being unviable, us peasants were faced with having to correspondingly wind down our farming activities… or go bust.

I speculated, about a year ago, that faced with this cliff edge, Defra were going to have to hurriedly dust off the old BPS, and roll it out again before things went South. Oh it’ll need some tweaks… extra payment for smaller farms, lower rates above a certain size, and a cap on maximum area etc. Some add-ons for wildlife, managed productive woodland, and restrict it to active farmers – rather than corporates, oligarchs, golf clubs or vast charities et al.

To the greenies’ horror, guess what’s the rumour carried in the wind?

The Anton Coaker column thread | Page 7 | The Farming Forum

Western Morning News –

He is certainly not alone in his disquiet over ‘rumours’: