Monday, September 16, 2013

Can Scottish farmers be weaned off subsidies?

One of the claims being made in the Scottish independence referendum debate is that if Scotland had a seat at the negotiating table, its farmers would get much more way in the way of CAP subsidies. But is such a dependence on subsidies desirable when English farmers are being urged to orient themselves towards the market? This provocative piece from a New Zealander suggests that it can become tantamount to an addiction: Subsidies

Of course, as the writer recognises, farming in the remoter parts of Scotland faces special challenges, but these are better tackled under the umbrella of a rural development/remote areas policy rather than through blanket subsidies. Moreover, the treatment of the Highlands and Islands has not been ungenerous, particularly when compared with England's isolated Scilly Isles, a subject I have been tackling in a series of articles for Scilly Now and Then. The magazine's website is here: Isles of Scilly

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