Is it fair for farmers to receive subsidies?

EDITOR – I read with interest Mr Brant’s letter in the April 4 edition.

I agree with many of the valid points that he makes and feel that farmers contribute to maintaining our and their countryside greatly.

I employ eight people and export our product as farmers do, to four countries and level playing fields for us and I am sure for farmers don’t exist.

Every industry, including farming provides a vital role in part of our collective existence as a society. Farmers farm, builders build, teachers teach - all are equally vital for our future.

The problem is as I see it – and I may be wrong, is that no other industry apart from agriculture has been so luxuriously and exuberantly subsidised for so long and to such a degree.

Mr Brant says that farmers do a great deal for their subsidies and I am sure that they do. I, as a business have health and safety, environmental health and a raft of tasks to undertake to conform to EU legislation and I receive, or rather my business received, no subsidy.

Land values have risen dramatically over the last few years and I understood that locally land now makes up to £10,000 per acre.

This has made paper millionaires and in fact dare I say multi millionaires out of many farmers.

I do not have a problem with this, but it does bring me to my next point and that is why we still need to subsidise farms to such a gratuitous extent.

All farms receive about £120 per acre per year in an IACS payment and environmental payment and on an average 500-acre Lincolnshire farm this will be about £60,000 a year.

Nobody disagrees with the good work that farmers do and feeding a nation is not an easy task to be sure. But as our chancellor said “we are all in this together”.

One question has to be asked and rightly so, Should tax payers be expected to continue these payments indefinitely and regardless of circumstances to farmers and farm businesses and is it fair that these hefty payments are made when so many finding it very hard financially.

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