"Where would you cut then?" is the wild-eyed bleat du jour coming from our reality-deprived brothers and sisters on the statist left. Expenses for officials, public-sector salaries, etc are a mere trifle. How about we start with this over-flowing goody-bag:
Royal landowners and multinational companies were among the biggest beneficiaries of the EU's €55 billion farm aid budget in 2008, a new EU transparency law has shown.Come to think of it, if that oh so idyll of returning to a pastoral existence pays so well, this porky may be worth keeping. Who says incentives do not matter?
In France, which alone scooped €10.4 billion of the pot, the Doux Group, which sells chicken products to over 130 countries worldwide, was the biggest single recipient on €62 million.
Major food companies Nestle and Tate & Lyle were the largest UK winners on around €1 million each.
British aristocrats, who command significant personal fortunes, also pocketed sizeable amounts of EU cash. The Queen received around €530,000. The Duke of Westminster got €540,000. Prince Charles took €180,000.
In Ireland, frozen food giant Greencore Group received the largest subsidy on €83 million. The Irish Dairy Board Co-op came second on €6.5 million. Kerry Ingredients Ireland was third on €5 million.