måndag 20 juli 2009

CAP:s tragikomiska groteskerier

EU:s jordbrukspolitik, CAP, är distributionspolitiskt regressiv på inte färre än tre sätt.

1) Det mesta av CAP-pengarna går till storbönder och storföretag; 80 procent av CAP-pengarna går till 20 procent av EU:s bönder. En stor del av pengarna går också till jordägare som inte alls brukar marken; 40 procent av jordbruksmarken i EU ägs av ägare som inte brukar jorden.
2) CAP höjer priserna på mat i EU, och eftersom låginkomsttagare spenderar en större andel av sin inkomst på mat än vad höginkomsttagare gör, påverkar prishöjningen låginkomsttagare proportionellt mer.
3) CAP:s protektionism, uppbyggande av köttberg, smörberg osv samt dumping utanför unionens gränser drabbar också bönder utanför EU.

Tragikomiska groteskerier:
"The list of English CAP recipients (the Scottish and Welsh governments refuse to release the information) includes some of the richest people in the realm. The Duke of Westminster, whose net worth is about €7 billion, received about €1 million over two years, the Duke of Marlborough got €1.5 million over the same period, and the Queen and Prince Charles received more than €1.5 million according to the data. The royal family is also a major landowner in Scotland (for which the data is still secret), so this is probably a serious underestimate. Multinational corporations, however, received even more. At the head of the subsidy list is the multinational corporation Tate & Lyle. It received more than ten tines what the Queen and Prince Charles got, some €180 million (most of this went to paying for the dumping of sugar in the world market). Nestle got €30 million." (s 220)

"In the Dutch and Danish cases, some scandal has been caused by the fact that the politicians charged with overseeing the CAP are actually receiving some of the money. For example, four of the Danish ministers or their spouses, including the Agriculture Minister, received CAP money. The biggest scandal to date, however, involved the Dutch Agriculture Minister Cees Veerman. He receives about €190 000 annually in CAP subsidies for the farms he owns.

The scandal was revealed when British Prime Minister Tony Blair suggested a reform of the CAP in the summer of 2005. Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende at first supported Blair, but Veerman threatened to resign in protest if Balkenende backed Blair. According to an International Herald Tribune article (19 August 2005), a spokesman for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture claimed that there was no connection between Veerman's cash receipts and his opposition to CAP reform. One can question this, however, since Veerman referred to his farms as 'my pension' according to a report in the Guardian.

This makes it easier to understand why governments have opposed the release of detailed information on who is getting the taxpayers' money. As more EU nations reveal the names of CAP recipients, the pressure to reform the welfare-for-rich-landowners aspect of the CAP is likely to grow. One proposal put forth several times by the European Commission (and rejected by the Council) would put an upper bound on the payment per farm." (s 221)

Richard Baldwin & Charles Wyplosz, The Economics of European Integration, 2nd ed, McGraw Hill, 2006

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