27 Jan 2017: Theresa May: UK’s richest aristocrat landowners will continue to get massive farming subsidies funded by British taxpayer after Brexit.
Ruth Davidson: agriculture powers not be transferred to Scotland after Brexit.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) provides around £4 billion in subsidies within the UK by 2021 accounting for nearly 50% of all receipts from the EU budget to the UK.
Scotland’s share should be around £850 million.
EU regulations require the full financial allocation to be transferred to the UK Treasury from where it should be distributed equally to each constituent country of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.
The EU exercises no executive role in the sharing of finance within Britain thus allowing the Westminster government full authority to set the criteria and other terms and conditions which claimants must adhere to.
Westminster top slices finance for allocation to the Royal household then sets a budget for each country and, in the case of Scotland transfers funds to the Scottish Parliament for distribution.
These arrangements were introduced in 2015 after many years of centralised control and distribution from Westminster proved to be impossible to sustain.
Westminster never once completed payments to claimants within deadlines resulting in the imposition of fines by the EU exceeding £600 million over a period of 8 years.
The government in London also wrote off to the public purse failed IT development costs exceeding £180.
There were also incidences where small farmers were forced to close their farms due to financial hardships caused by the tardy support offered by Westminster government.
The same Westminster government, incapable of running the scheme, transferred responsibility for payment of claims to the Scottish government, at very short notice without ensuring the provision of operational facilities to run it.
For Scotland it was sink or swim. The Scottish government struggled and failed to meet EU target deadlines.
The Scottish farmers Union (front for the Tory party) spread misinformation amongst the farming community and succeeded in persuading many to vote for the Tory candidates at the last election. No sea change there Rooth!!!!
The only thing that remained sacrosanct was that the rules of the scheme would continue to be set by Westminster.
So delegation of responsibility, including brickbats from claimants who might experience delayed payments through inefficient operational systems, but without authority to make changes. Nice one Westminster.
Aims and Rewards of the Scheme
The scheme rewards landowners simply for owning title to land, as opposed to encouraging farmers to invest in improving product output to the public good. In terms of share the top 20% of claimants get 70%.
The bottom 40% get 5% of the grant money.
Claimants, totalling approximately 18,000 annually, include the entire royal household, large numbers of wealthy aristocrats, other members of the house of Lords, Tory MP’s (past and present), MSP’s, countless Tory Party donors, offshore companies registered in the Isle of Mann, Guernsey, Jersey, Cayman Islands etc.
Billionaires and other very rich foreigners investing their often ill-gotten gains in land ownership are the major beneficiaries.
Timber companies, through the Rural Payments Agency, are provided with annual grants up to £50 million.
Financially sound investment opportunities for many stars of stage and screen other media.
Large corporations and companies also qualify for subsidies e.g.. refunds on exports.
These include Tate & Lyle who get more than £130 million and Nestle UK who receive about £13 million annually.
There are rare good works, such as the RSPB, which receive around £2million annually.
A body working hard for the benefit of nature, maintaining, expanding and improving the habitat of the wildlife.
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) – Convergence Uplift – Scotland Cheated Yet Again
Completed between 2010 -2014, a review of the scheme by EU ministers identified that many farmers in Scotland, confronted with difficulties not experienced elsewhere in Britain were not receiving a level of financial support needed to ensure their operational viability.
Correcting matters, the EU allocated a “convergence uplift” and transferred £260 million to Westminster to be forwarded to Scotland.
The Con-Dem government refused to transfer any of the new finance to Scotland stating their, “one rule for all” policy would remain in place regardless of need.
Scotland was awarded only 36.8m Euro (16% of the 230m Euro allocation).
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead described Westminster’s decision to share out the pot across the UK as “a disgrace”. His statement read:
“I do not know how UK ministers will be able to look Scottish farmers in the eye after this outrageous decision that amounts to pocketing Scotland’s farm payments. I am aghast that Mr Carmichael (remember this guy?) the new secretary of state for Scotland can welcome the UK government’s decision to give Scotland the lowest farm payments in the whole of Europe and the UK. If Scotland had been a member state in our own right during those negotiations, we would have benefited from a one billion euro uplift. We have been denied that uplift and now we are even being denied up to £ 230 million uplift that the UK gets because of Scotland.”
The NFU Scotland said farmers had been dealt “a bitter blow” in failing to win an immediate boost in European cash.
Scottish Conservative rural affairs spokesman Alex Ferguson said he was disappointed that all the extra convergence money did not go to Scotland.
Scottish Labour rural affairs spokeswoman Claire Baker said: “I am disappointed that Scotland has not received an immediate uplift and called for intervention on a cross-party basis by MSPs.
Scottish Tory Landowners Unhappy With the Tory Government
NFU Scotland secured commitment from David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, to organise a meeting with UK farming minister George Eustice.
The meeting is to be convened to discuss a review of the allocation of CAP convergence money.
Since 2013, Scotland’s farming union has tried to secure real movement on the allocation of the UK’s 230m Euro convergence dividend from the EU.
Scotland has the third lowest Pillar 1 [direct support] payment rate per hectare in the EU which was why the UK received this dividend.
However, the UK government chose to share this around the UK on the basis of historic allocations.
After lobbying, the NFU was previously promised this would be received once the new CAP was implemented, but the extra funds are still being withheld.
The NFU expect the Westminster government to honour its commitments. (Eskdale Advertiser)
The Impact of Brexit
There will be little change if Scotland remains in the UK. Subsidy distribution will continue to be controlled by rules and regulations decided by Westminster.
The Scottish government will be required to disburse finance strictly observing rules set by Westminster.
Scotland’s land ownership management system is one of the most anachronistic systems in Europe.
Land is regarded as a commodity to be sold to anyone who has the money to pay for it and owners need not take occupancy or declare ownership to anyone.
This has resulted the vast bulk of Scotland being owned by less than 500 individuals.
Brexit provides opportunity for an independent Scotland to introduce major changes to land management systems brought into disrepute by politicians whose single minded purpose is to transfer finance, contributed by 99% of the population, to the richest 1% of the corrupt Little Englander Unionist society run from Westminster.
Selected Subsidy payments to Conservative & Unionist Party Members and Scottish Politicians
Adephi Distillery Ltd PH36 Ardnamuchan £623,236.00:
2014 Scottish Independence Referendum “Better Together” campaign received its largest contribution of £600,000 from Donald Houston, the owner of the Ardnamurchan Estate in the western Highlands and the Adelphi distillery.
Rain Dance Investments, a financial holding company based in Lincoln has just under £50million in the bank.
Directors include the Irwin Houston family who own Ardnamurchan Estate and Keith Falconer, who runs a distillery at Glenborrodale Castle, Ardnamurchan. They contributed £200,000.
The Adelphi Distillery Ltd received a grant of £1,148,736 (in 2014/15) to build a new Ardnamurchan Distillery. Bloody ridiculous, Scottish taxpayers provide huge amounts of cash so that Houston and Falconer can develop the business and they transfer £800,000 to the “Better Together” campaign.
Mrs E V McCorquodale Trs PH2 PERTH £706,751.28:
Primarily involved in the development of forest areas and improvement of their sustainability.
Controlling company Glenlonan Developments, London.
Person with controlling interest. Bertram Stanley Mitford Bowyer, 2nd Baron Denham, KBE, PC (born 3 October 1927).
He is a British Conservative politician and member of the House of Lords as one of the remaining hereditary peers.
He is one of the few people to serve in the governments of five different Tory Prime Ministers. He married Ms E V McCorquodale Lady Denham (deceased) and has control of her estate.
Tillypronie Estate near Banchory, Aberdeenshire £385,279:
Managed by Strutt & Parker and owned by Philip Astor, first cousin once removed to Viscount Astor, Samantha Cameron’s step-father.
The claim approved for “first afforestation of agricultural and non-agricultural land”.
JF Burnett of Leys £26,319.88:
Alexander Burnett MSP is a major shareholder in major shareholder in the Bancon Construction Group (real estate building and sales)
Messrs J Hair £119,191.00:
Kirstene Hair (MP) is the daughter of the owners of the farm near Brechin. She was elected to the Westminster parliament in May 2017.
Delfur Farms Elgin £131,960.09:
Tory rural affairs spokesman, multi-millionaire, Sir Edward Mountain (MSP), is a partner in Delfur Farms Farming Partnership (breeding livestock).
He is also a partner in and owner of 50% of Delfur Fishings, of Moray, a rod and line salmon fishing.
He also owns a 50% share of a rod and line salmon fishing in Moray, operated by Delfur Fishings, which has a total market value of between £8,200,001 and £8,300,000.
The property yields a gross annual income in the range £230,001 – £240,000.
Robert Lamont Duns Berwickshire: £63692.19:
Growing of crops combined with farming of animals (mixed farming.
Owner Robert is a former NFU Scotland legal and commercial chairman.
He also led the Scottish Borders, farmers, Better Together campaign in the Borders in the 2014 referendum.
Son John is a Politician who was elected to serve Berwickshire as an MSP at Holyrood a post he subsequently gave up to be elected MP at Westminster in May 2017.
Rars Woodlands 3 Limited – Courance Estate £74792.11:
Alister Jack was born and educated in Dumfries. He lives and farms in Courance, near Lockerbie.
He made his business in self-storage, making an estimated £20m fortune through his company, Armadillo and retains significant business interests and declares shares in 16 companies.
He also has investments in Jardine Matheson Holdings (JMH), which is incorporated in Bermuda a British Overseas Territory that can provide tax advantages to firms that register on the island.
An Asian-based business group. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and provides management services to companies in the wider group.
JMH is chaired by Eton-educated Sir Henry Keswick.
Jack declared £3,000 of support from Sir Henry in the following Westminster declaration category: “Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation.”
Jack also declared £5,000 from Percy Weatherall, who is listed as a JMH director, in the same category on his MP register of interest.
In JMH’s latest half-yearly results, the group’s underlying profit for the first six months of 2017 rose 20 per cent to $765 million, while revenue was $19.4 billion.
In 2016, Oxfam published a report which named Bermuda as the worst of 15 corporate tax havens.
The charity examined practices such as countries offering “unfair and unproductive” tax incentives and zero or extremely low corporate tax rates.
At the time of the report, Oxfam stated that Bermuda’s “characteristics” included zero corporate income tax and zero withholding tax.
The territory’s Finance Minister claimed the report contained “serial errors”, but Oxfam defended the findings.
In June 2017 Jack, a Tory candidate won the Dumfries and Galloway constituency after defeating the SNP’s Richard Arkless by 5643 votes.
R & M Clark Turriff £90415.90:
Growing crops, (750 acres) combined with buying and selling Cattle and Sheep.
Son, Colin Clark combines working the farm with politics.
Formally MSP for the local area he was elected to Westminster for the Gordon constituency in the 2017 General Election.
Peter Chapman & Co £76452.33:
Farms 1,100 acres at South Redbog Farm, near Strichen.
It is a mixed arable Beef and Pullet rearing enterprise.
Four wind turbines are located on the farm.
He is a former vice president of the NFU Scotland. Director of Aberdeen and Northern Marts livestock auctions, Director NFU mutual insurance society, board member Scottish Natural Heritage.
Politically active he was elected as a local councillor before taking up the role of MSP for Banffshire & Buchan at Holyrood in 2017.
Actively involved in the support of the 2014 “Better Together” campaign
Achnacarry Estate £79,781.89:
The family seat of the Cameron’s of Lochiel comprises 60,000 acres of wild country and forests in the North of Scotland. Wind-farms are recent additions bringing revenue to the estate.
It is described as being the “largest landholding in Britain of any commoner”.
Commoner because “the Cameron’s famously supported the losing side in every Scottish conflict with remarkable consistency, for approximately 500 years.
As punishment the family were never ennobled or given fancy titles!”
Donald Angus Cameron, 27th Lochiel, is the current chief of the Clan Cameron.
His son, Donald Cameron (MSP), who assists his father in the running of the estate was elected to Holyrood in 2017 representing the Highlands and Islands.
He is also a lawyer, Scottish Government advocate/ counsel in agriculture, crofting and employment.
His ancestors will be affronted that Donald supports the Union. http://www.lindsays.co.uk/assets/downloads/lindsays_life_issue8.pdf
W Scott & Son £44,229.33:
William John Scott is a sheep farmer at Balkissock, Ballantrae, Ayrshire. A Tory MSP he was first elected 2000.
Established the Ayrshire Farmers Market in 1999 and founded the Scottish Association for Farmers in 2001
Appointed as the convenor of the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament in June 2016.
Messrs J A Fergusson & Sons £44229.33
Sir Alexander Charles Onslow Fergusson, a Scottish Tory politician, was a Member of the Scottish Parliament from 1999 to 2016, and served as the 3rd Presiding Officer from 2007 till 2011.
Before and after his tie in politics he ran Grennan, farm, Castle Douglas, rearing cattle and sheep
Fergusson is a male-line grandson of Sir Charles Fergusson 7th Baronet and so is in the remainder to that Barontecy.
He is also descended from many Scottish noble families including the Earls of Glasgow, Earls of Dalhousie and Barons Crofton.
John Sheeden & Partners £45,504.83:
Tory supporting partners John Sheeden unhappy with BBC.