That man of conscience Jacque Chirac has spoken often about aid to the poor, about how we bear a responsibility to help those in need. As the main cheerleader of CAP, he is of course a complete hypocrite.
His beloved farming subsidies are responsible for poverty and squalor across Africa and the Developing world.
The £30bn-a-year EU agricultural subsidy regime is one of the biggest iniquities facing farmers in Africa and other developing counties. They cannot export their products because they compete with the lower prices made possible by payments.Not content with stopping them sell goods to us, we also screw up their domestic markets.
In addition, European countries dump thousands of tons of subsidised exports in Africa every year so that local producers cannot even compete on a level playing field in their own land.A few startling facts:
- Mozambique loses more than £70m a year - equivalent to its entire national budget for agriculture and rural development - because of the trade distortions.
- 12,000 workers in Swaziland have lost their jobs because the local industry cannot compete.
- European farmers are guaranteed a price for their sugar three times higher than the world price and there are restrictions on foreign imports - backed up by import tariffs of 324 per cent.
- The dairy subsidies have driven farmers in India and Jamaica out of business.
The CAP costs British taxpayers £3.9bn a year and also adds £16 a week - £832 a year - to the average family of four's food bill.This extra cost is of course much more significant for the poorest people in EU member states than it is for the better off. That such a scheme still exists is a black mark against all of us. Get rid of CAP and make poverty history.