• The Single Payment Scheme that administers farming subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy has been exposed as failing in many of its key objectives, in a newly released report by the European Court of Auditors (29.06.2011). Stuart Agnew MEP, the UK Independence Party’s spokesman on Agriculture, commenting on the report, said:
“This report confirms that the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) has become almost totally divorced from reality and that it is a licence to print money for a small number of large scale operators, while the vast majority of smaller scale beneficiaries receive only very limited aid. The Court of Auditors quite rightly points out that the scheme has been formulated in a manner which allows people or organisations that are either not involved in agriculture at all or only marginally involved to become firmly attached to the CAP teat.
“In many cases, there has been complete separation of payment entitlements from the land on which they were originally generated. One of the worst features exposed in the report is that the system has become a considerable obstacle for new farmers trying to get into the agriculture sector. The report also makes clear the failure of the SPS system to take into account the cost to farmers of maintaining land, in the real world.
“In other words, the Single Payment Scheme is a complete dog’s dinner, which is failing in almost all of its key objectives. Another example of the EU’s incompetence, something that it is turning into an art form. The central control of agriculture through bureaucrats in Brussels is proving to be a disaster. An independent British Government, would make a much better job of it.”