Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Changing shape of budget

The CAP budget for agricultural markets and the SFP has been scaled back to a mere €43,280 million in 2006, or €51,051 million when one adds in rural development. However, it is the composition of the budget that is in some ways more interesting. Of course, by far the greater part these days goes on direct aids to farmers (€34,817m).

If one looks at the market support budget, the largest budget line is now for fruit and vegetables at €1,544m, followed by €1,494m for the wine lake and €1376m for sugar. 'Textile plants', effectively cotton subsidies, come fourth at €969m: these are, of course, very controversial in the current WTO talks in terms of their impact on poor West African countries.

Milk products and cereals, once the biggest items, now come 5th and 6th respectively, although it should be remembered that payments now largely take the form of direct aids.

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