EU spending on agriculture not economic recovery

August 8, 2009 at 12:57 am Leave a comment

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A committee of peers has criticised the European Commission for spending too much money on agriculture.

The House of Lords EU Committee said proposals for the 2010 European Communities budget for maintain a “very high level of spending on agriculture” and fail to shift adequate resources to measures to aid economic recovery.

£51 billion has been allocated to Heading 2 (Preservation and Management of Natural Resources) of the Budget of which agricultural spending is a significant part.

In comparison, £54 billion has been allocated to Heading 1, Sustainable Growth. The Committee argues spending should be reallocated to Heading 1.

The Committee also comment on the system of multi-year ceilings on budget spending, while that arrangement is useful for discipline and stability it makes it hard for the EU to grow its spending to provide a stimulus during an economic downturn.

The report also points out that at present the margin between the ceiling and proposed spending levels under the Competitiveness and Growth heading is not great enough to accommodate spending as part of the European Economy Recovery Plan as well other unforeseen expenditures.

Baroness Cohen, Chairman of the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Economic and Financial Affairs, said:

“At a time where it is clear that Europe’s economy needs major economic stimulus it is very frustrating that so much of the EU’s spending continues to be channelled to agricultural spending that provides very poor value for money.

“It is vital that the budget is looked at again so projects which can provide real economic and social benefits, such as investment in green technologies, are given the funding they need while the Common Agricultural Policy spending is appropriately reduced.”

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Entry filed under: Committees, Lords. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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