Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. Andre Gide

Thursday, May 6, 2010

EU Farm the Queen?

Whatever your view on subsidies to farmers, you have to admire their ability to milk the public teat. Farmers like...well, like Queen Elizabeth, for example.

See: European Subsidies Stray from the Farm (thanks to Martin Gervais for the link).

Here is an excerpt that I found especially interesting:

Overall the biggest slice of the farm subsidy cake still goes in direct payments for farmland. But even in this category there is controversy.

Providing the land is cared for and meets environmental standards, it does not need to be farmed to qualify for a subsidy. Mere ownership is enough, and therefore the wealthier the landowner, the larger the handout is likely to be.

The queen of England qualified for £473,500, or $778,812, in total farm aid in 2008 for Sandringham Farms in England, a 20,000-acre royal retreat that has been a private home to four generations of British monarchs since 1862. A pet project of Prince Charles to preserve the Transylvanian countryside also qualified for a nominal sum. Prince Albert II of Monaco collected €507,972 in 2008 for his wheat farms in France.

The duke of Westminster — the third richest person in Britain with a fortune estimated at £6.5 billion — collected £486,534 for his farm. Top Farms, the duke’s Polish distributor for his bull breeding company, Cogent, collected more than €8 million in subsidies from 2006 to 2007 for its dairy farms in Poland.


  1. David, thought you might find this interesting: Remember when GM "repaid" it's c. $6b in TARP loans, 5 years ahead of schedule last month? And the Treasury agreed that this was good news. Well NY Times reports that the debt was paid off with other taxpayer-provided funds (not debt, as it appears GM had been outright given this other money, though it was held in escrow). Interesting, eh?

  2. Wild one: When I saw the CEO of GM in a commercial proudly strutting about, bragging that GM had paid off their debt to the government early, I just about choked on my morning cereal. These people are shameless.

  3. David,

    It's a ridiculous situation.

    By the way, for your interest:

  4. happy to see that nobody even the queen is above the law