Public Accounts Committee enquiry into ELMS

Humble Village Farmer

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NFFN Member
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Cb97ej
There is an assumption that the choice is simply to farm, or to rewild.

When even the most low grade farmland is worth many £000's an acre, do they not realise that the derisory sums offered make any option seem preferable.
Dog walking, scrambling tracks, holiday chalets etc, will all increase, at much expense to nature.
These are exactly the options they want us to consider, rather than farming for very little or no return.

If you look at all the great civilisations, they all depend on a healthy agricultural sector, which we don't seem to have at the moment.
 

Jackov Altraids

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Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
These are exactly the options they want us to consider, rather than farming for very little or no return.

If you look at all the great civilisations, they all depend on a healthy agricultural sector, which we don't seem to have at the moment.
I don't think they do.
I think they assume we will have to except whatever pennies they throw our way. They won't meet any of their legally binding climate change commitments without signing us up.

They run a high risk of destroying the industry while moving further from their carbon targets.
 

Humble Village Farmer

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Cb97ej
I don't think they do.
I think they assume we will have to except whatever pennies they throw our way. They won't meet any of their legally binding climate change commitments without signing us up.

They run a high risk of destroying the industry while moving further from their carbon targets.
You can't destroy the farming industry (well I suppose it's pretty f**ked at the moment). There's 9 billion people in the world. They will need food and pay whatever it takes to buy it. Just at the moment though, that isn't very much.

How many days' milk would have to go in the slurry lagoon before the farm gate price was 50p a litre? (if everyone did it)

The last loaf of bread will be worth more than its weight in gold.
 

Jackov Altraids

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
You can't destroy the farming industry (well I suppose it's pretty f**ked at the moment). There's 9 billion people in the world. They will need food and pay whatever it takes to buy it. Just at the moment though, that isn't very much.

How many days' milk would have to go in the slurry lagoon before the farm gate price was 50p a litre? (if everyone did it)

The last loaf of bread will be worth more than its weight in gold.

'Destroy' was a poor choice of word.

I think you said that the UK food industry was 'broken' and everything the government are proposing is likely to make things worse rather than better.

There are many areas where we are at risk of losing critical mass which could take a generation to re-establish.

If Defra don't take action to address PAC report, there will be serious repercussions.
 

Humble Village Farmer

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NFFN Member
Location
Cb97ej
'Destroy' was a poor choice of word.

I think you said that the UK food industry was 'broken' and everything the government are proposing is likely to things worse rather than better.

There are many areas where we are at risk of losing critical mass which could take a generation to re-establish.

If Defra don't take action to address PAC report, there will be serious repercussions.
I agree but the main reason we are in the position that we are, selling our stuff too cheap, is because because of the subsidy system.

It might look different but they will still buy food. It's our job to make sure they pay enough for it.

So I don't think changing the subsidy system is a bad idea in the long run, because it will stop farmers being ripped off on both sides of the farm gate.
 

Humble Village Farmer

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NFFN Member
Location
Cb97ej
'Destroy' was a poor choice of word.

I think you said that the UK food industry was 'broken' and everything the government are proposing is likely to make things worse rather than better.

There are many areas where we are at risk of losing critical mass which could take a generation to re-establish.

If Defra don't take action to address PAC report, there will be serious repercussions.
And how do you think the PAC would view the payment of £3bn to the richest section of society if that were allowed to continue?
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
I kind of think that's the point. Farmers have been taken for a ride. If you don't look carefully at the farm accounts (who does?), it's easy to think everything's hunky dory on the farm.

From the report: Without direct payments, over a third of farms would have made a loss. We're basically on social security.

There's no way that can be considered sustainable. Maybe the govt wants a healthy and profitable farm sector? Removing direct subsidies will force one out come, which is that food will have to be paid for as you say. Maybe from imports to start with (47% coming from abroad already, also in the report) but the chances are that price and supply won't be that reliable and we'll be back in the game.
Didn't I read in DEFRA's "Agricultural transition plan" that they wanted English farming to be "sustainably profitable independent of subsidy" by 2028?

No sign yet of how they think we are to achieve that though....
 

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
And how do you think the PAC would view the payment of £3bn to the richest section of society if that were allowed to continue?

Isn't that exactly whats going to happen under ELMS? One third of the money is specifically earmarked for the top 1-2% of landowners, those who control more than 500ha. And they can dip into the other two thirds of the budget as well. Who do you think is going to do best out of ELMS, James Dyson or a 200 acre stock farm in upland England? And in doing best I mean get the best return per acre, not total cash terms.

If giving money to the richest sections of society is out then no farmers would get any money at all, the owner of a 100 acre farm is a millionaire just about anywhere in the UK, which puts them in the top 1% by wealth (over 700k of wealth puts you in the 1%). So cutting subsidies out entirely makes some logical sense. Landowners are by any standard wealthy people, ergo give them nothing. I'm not advocating that, just saying the argument has some logical consistency.

On the other hand if you are going to spend public money on 'public goods' wouldn't it make some sense to ensure it doesn't just predominantly go to those who are the very richest of the already rich? The hundred acre farmer might be just into 7 figures of wealth, Dyson is well into 9 figures. Should we not ensure that the former gets a disproportionately higher amount per acre than the latter, and not the other way around?
 

bobk

Member
Location
stafford
Isn't that exactly whats going to happen under ELMS? One third of the money is specifically earmarked for the top 1-2% of landowners, those who control more than 500ha. And they can dip into the other two thirds of the budget as well. Who do you think is going to do best out of ELMS, James Dyson or a 200 acre stock farm in upland England? And in doing best I mean get the best return per acre, not total cash terms.

If giving money to the richest sections of society is out then no farmers would get any money at all, the owner of a 100 acre farm is a millionaire just about anywhere in the UK, which puts them in the top 1% by wealth (over 700k of wealth puts you in the 1%). So cutting subsidies out entirely makes some logical sense. Landowners are by any standard wealthy people, ergo give them nothing. I'm not advocating that, just saying the argument has some logical consistency.

On the other hand if you are going to spend public money on 'public goods' wouldn't it make some sense to ensure it doesn't just predominantly go to those who are the very richest of the already rich? The hundred acre farmer might be just into 7 figures of wealth, Dyson is well into 9 figures. Should we not ensure that the former gets a disproportionately higher amount per acre than the latter, and not the other way around?
If there's free money going the biggest snouts will have the most

Same as adlibbing cattle , the fattest 20% eat 80% of the grub
 

Humble Village Farmer

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NFFN Member
Location
Cb97ej
Isn't that exactly whats going to happen under ELMS? One third of the money is specifically earmarked for the top 1-2% of landowners, those who control more than 500ha. And they can dip into the other two thirds of the budget as well. Who do you think is going to do best out of ELMS, James Dyson or a 200 acre stock farm in upland England? And in doing best I mean get the best return per acre, not total cash terms.

If giving money to the richest sections of society is out then no farmers would get any money at all, the owner of a 100 acre farm is a millionaire just about anywhere in the UK, which puts them in the top 1% by wealth (over 700k of wealth puts you in the 1%). So cutting subsidies out entirely makes some logical sense. Landowners are by any standard wealthy people, ergo give them nothing. I'm not advocating that, just saying the argument has some logical consistency.

On the other hand if you are going to spend public money on 'public goods' wouldn't it make some sense to ensure it doesn't just predominantly go to those who are the very richest of the already rich? The hundred acre farmer might be just into 7 figures of wealth, Dyson is well into 9 figures. Should we not ensure that the former gets a disproportionately higher amount per acre than the latter, and not the other way around?
I don't know the specifics of the 500 ha earmarking you mention.

I agree. The big problem here is that any public money for landowners is reverse taxation or concentration if wealth rather than redistribution. And if you're paid by the acre, the richest get the most. It's a job to get round that without nationalisation, unless you cap the payments, which they don't seem to want to do.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
I don't know the specifics of the 500 ha earmarking you mention.

I agree. The big problem here is that any public money for landowners is reverse taxation or concentration if wealth rather than redistribution. And if you're paid by the acre, the richest get the most. It's a job to get round that without nationalisation, unless you cap the payments, which they don't seem to want to do.
Just what IS the problem with capped payments (except that the NT) have been one of the biggest claimants in the last decade of course)......
 

Raider112

Member
More to the point, how much clout does the PAC have? can they block it? refuse to fund it? or just say the same as the rest of us but be unable to change it?
 

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