Squaring the circle is hard, but according to Stuart Roger UKIP wants to achieve something even harder. They are determined to ditch Europe but equally determined to hang on to its biggest gravy train: the Common Agricultural Policy. Money from CAP goes to some of their most enthusiastic supporters: rural landowners and farmers…
At present the EU ladles out between £60 & £90 per acre to these and other lucky landowners. UKIP's agriculture spokesman Stuart Agnew is guaranteeing that rural landowners will still receive £80 per acre from the UK taxpayer if we quit Europe, and will have to comply with fewer irritating Brussels rules to get their mitts on our dosh. Courtesy of UKIP we will continue to subsidise the wealthy but will get even less for our money.
From the UKIP leaflet:
£80 per acre on lowland, pro-rata decrease on marginal and hill land, capped at £120,000.
Having a cap is a good idea, although it is still far too high and can easily be fiddled by splitting up a farm. I assume that Stuart Agnew's farm is just a shade underneath the £120,000 limit, that's not a random figure.
But what is nonsense (and existing EU rules are the same) is having higher subsidies for more productive land; the subsidy is supposed to "help struggling farmers" or some such bullshit, in which case the subsidies ought to be higher for marginal land.
Via LVT Campaign, from the FT:
The government has spent £63m buying up 106 homes blighted by the proposed HS2 high speed rail link. Estate agents say tens of thousands of homes along the route have lost up to a quarter of their value.
Although the future of the £50bn north-south rail link is still uncertain, more than 500 homeowners have applied to have their property bought under the government’s exceptional hardship scheme.
Of these, 340 claims have been rejected, but 106 homes have been purchased at an average price of just under £600,000, highlighting fears of how soaring property prices could inflate the final compensation bill.
The government is spending £1.1bn in this parliament on consultants, preparatory work, compensation and other expenditure. The majority of the properties it has bought have since been rented out.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014