The first in an irregular series. Expect Defra to feature heavily. This is an oral question to The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley) in the Lords yesterday:
Lord Lea of Crondall: As I understand it, there are 17,000 dairy farms in this country and the average dairy farm gets a subsidy of £30,000 a year, which by my arithmetic is £500 million. There are 2 million cows, so each cow gets £250. I am sure the NFU will say that the cow does not get it and that the farmer does not get it. So who does get it? Could it be that the processors get it, the supermarkets get it, or the consumer gets it? Somebody must get it, so should there not be something like the Office for Budget Responsibility or the new adjudicator to clarify analytically who does get it?
Lord Henley: My Lords, I cannot confirm or deny the figures produced by the noble Lord, but I can give him an assurance that subsidies go to the farmers and not to the cows as I imagine that the cows do not have bank accounts.