Cutting benefits to the very rich, by George Monbiot on farmers’ subsidies

“The minister responsible for cutting income support for the poor, Iain Duncan Smith, lives on an estate owned by his wife’s family. Over the past ten years, it has received €1.5m in income support from taxpayers.”

George Monbiot writes today about the farming subsidies which go to the richest landowners:

“Some of them are millionaires from elsewhere: sheikhs, oligarchs and mining magnates who own vast estates in this country. Though they might pay no taxes in the UK, they receive millions in farm subsidies. They are the world’s most successful benefit tourists. Yet, amid the manufactured terror of immigrants living off British welfare payments, we scarcely hear a word raised against them.”

At the same time the payments to the poorest in society have been cut and no one seems to be complaining.

The only things I don’t agree with in his article are the reasons for why this is happening. He implies some kind of cultural illusion about the beauty of farms and that’s why people aren’t protesting. I think it’s the same reason why plain packaging for tobacco hasn’t been implemented in the UK and indeed why smoking is still not banned even though it’s a deadly habit: the rich lobby and get what they want.

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