Shropshire Star: Farmers worse off as British citizens

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

I thought I’d upset someone at the Shropshire Star as it’s been weeks since any of my letters have been published and then this one from a couple of weeks ago was published …

Farmers worse off as British Citizens

Farmers in the UK, like farmers in the rest of the European Federation, receive farming subsidies.

In Scotland, they are paid out by a department of the Scottish Executive and in Wales they are paid by a department of the Welsh Assembly.

In England they are paid out by DEFRA, a department of the British government.

Scottish and Welsh farmers received their subsidies on time last year. In fact, in most cases they were early.

In England some farmers are still waiting for last years subsidies. Shropshire farmers whose farms straddle the English/Welsh border are the lucky ones.

They have had at least part of their subsidies, but the majority have had to remortgage their homes, take out loans or expensive overdrafts to pay wages and bills or they have simply gone bankrupt or sold up.

Because of the late payments, the European Federation has levied huge fines on the British government which continue to increase as time goes on.

No doubt this will please our neighbours over the border in Wales who will pay a share of the fines by way of a reduction in their annual subsidy from the English taxpayer via the Barnett Formula. The same is also true of the Scots – the SNP must be rubbing their hands together with the impending Scottish elections!

A devolved English government, however, would be directly accountable ONLY to English voters and even if they were no less likely to make such monumental cock-ups, they would certainly be much more determined to fix their mistakes than a government that doesn’t rely so heavily on English votes.

Stuart Parr

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