Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Defra's Cost Sharing Proposals

As I reported in my Post on 5 Jun 09, there is a consultation running about Cost sharing Proposals and Defra has asked for responses by 30 Jun 09.

The Countryside Alliance has pointed out their concerns that this proposal is 'cost shifting not cost sharing'. See Simon Hart's comments here. He also points out there will a levy on gamebirds that would be applicable for each owner, not each bird. In the case of game farmers and shoots, each bird would be paid for twice. There will also be an as yet uncalculated sum for insurance to cover compensation in the event of a disease outbreak.

The list of charges proposed is: Dairy cows £4.80; Beef cattle £1.20; Combined Cattle* £2.50; Sheep £0.09; Pigs £0.82, Poultry and gamebirds £0.04. *Given that beef and dairy cattle face the same disease threats, and the industries are closely linked, there is a clear argument for having a single levy rate applied to both sectors. Details of the consultation are available here.

The closer you get to this proposal the worse it gets. My opinion has not changed and I support Simon Hart's comments. This is Defra trying to wriggle out of its responsibilities and placing more costs on already marginal farm businesses.

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