Sunday, 9 October 2016

Yes It Is An Outrage, Stop EU Subsidies Now

There are still lots of people very angry and vociferous in denial about the Brexit vote. They never protested when the EU used our money to close down businesses here in the EU and move them to Eastern Europe  or outside the EU altogether. They never protested about massive farm subsidies being given year after year to some of the richest people in this country - regardless of whether they are even British citizens. They never protested about employers advertising English jobs first in Eastern Europe, then shipping in foreign workers and claiming massive housing benefit subsidies to accommodate them  - all at our expense.

Khalid Abdullah al-Saud has a stud farm in England and gets £400,000 p.a. EU funding

But now they are lamenting like banshees about the loss of their EU citizenship. I'm surprised they don't just use the usual argument, and announce that Brexit cannot be true because it was reported in the Daily Mail. That is the usual intellectual tactic that such folk depend on.
As far as I am concerned, it can't happen too soon. When I stood as a parliamentary candidate six years ago, I pointed out the unfairness of the EU's agricultural policy paying huge subsidies to some of the richest land-owners in this country. Six years later, Greenpeace seems to have finally caught up with the news, and has commented that it is an "outrage" for billionaires to get large pay-outs while we are imposing cuts to services for the poor and vulnerable. The NHS has to decide whether to fund drugs for cancer patients, and we squander money like this.
Khalid Abdullah al-Saud is a Saudi billionaire who owns (among other things - many, many other things) a stud farm near Newmarket. He gets £400,000 per year from the EU in subsidy, and that money comes out of our own taxes. So why is the new chancellor, Philip Hammond, committing us to go on making all the present payments for another four years? That is crazy. We should stop it immediately and I'd be happy to have it stopped retrospectively too. If the EU can issue one of its decrees and tell the government of Eire to rescind its agreement with the Apple company to operate there tax-free for a number of years, then why can't we rescind our CAP payments in retrospect too? It would be a great idea. 

As a matter of fact, the EU is behaving hypocritically as well as illegally in targeting Apple in this way. There is nothing wrong with a government making a deal with a company to set up business in a country and provide jobs. It is done all the time. A tax-deal is just another form of subsidy, and it is a clever form since no capital payment is required at the outset. The company only benefits so long as it actually stays there and does provide jobs and salaries, all of which generate income tax, council tax, VAT, petrol tax etc etc. Since the EU itself hands out massive grants and subsidies all the time to its chosen pets (whose lobbyists got the ear of a suitable Eurocrat) it hasn't got a leg to stand on, and from a legal point of view, the Eire government should certainly challenge the decision. But that is digressing. 

If the EU can tell the government of Eire that its deal with the Apple company is illegal, and abolish it retrospectively, forcing Apple to pay billions of euros in back taxes, why can't we abolish EU subsidies here retrospectively and demand that people such as Khalid Abdullah al-Saud pay back the huge sums they have pocketed? Over a period of ten years he has got £4 million pounds. That would enough to keep a lot of old people in care, people who at present are being forced to pay by selling their own homes. It could also pay for care workers to visit people's homes - a service that is at present limited to 20 minutes per week per person. All over the EU, opportunistic land-owners use the CAP system to help themselves to millions of euros of public money every year.

The EU subsidizes a lot of payments to the regions, effectively forcing England to pay higher taxes for the benefit of Scotland and Wales. It also pays subsidies to a long list of dubious, sometimes bogus businesses, that claim to be running this and that, but are scams. None of these schemes has ever needed to get the votes of the local tax-payers who fork out for them. All sorts of crackpot organizations get EU funding. The people in receipt of subsidies knew perfectly well there was a Referendum coming up - so they had fair warning.

As an English Democrat, I call on Philip Hammond to reverse his decision, and guarantee nothing. Stop making membership contributions to the EU budget and demand refunds from impudent billionaires such as Khalid Abdullah al-Saud who are ripping off ordinary people.

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