• During a session of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee on biofuels and fuel quality (24.04.2013), East of England MEP, Stuart Agnew (UKIP) has excoriated the EU’s obsession with biofuel, which takes good arable land out of food production at a time when it is most needed.
Mr Agnew, who is the Party’s spokesman on agriculture, said that EU subsidies are tempting the farmer in the next field to not grow wheat but to “turn it into maize which will be put into an anaerobic digester, which will be connected to an electricity grid and that maize will be removed from agriculture.”
He pointed out that as a poultry farmer: “I need quite large quantities of electricity and I get a quarterly bill and on that electricity bill is a surcharge. It is called Climate Change Levy. This is the subsidy I have to pay to the man or the firm in the next field to make his electricity competitive.
“This activity is causing me an increase in my wheat price, because there is less about. It is also causing me an increase in my electricity price but it doesn’t actually end there. If, after all that, my business is still profitable enough to pay tax, what happens to that tax? It is handed to the farmer with the anaerobic digester as a Single Farm Payment. I have four words to say: How mad is that?”