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By ATWadmin On January 23rd, 2009

Ronald Reagan got it right when he wrily observed of government’s approach to the economy, If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it.

The European Union loves to subsidise and so the news that its’ notorious butter mountains and milk lakes are to return after a controversial decision to reintroduce dairy subsidies comes as little surprise!

“The European Commission has announced plans to artificially boost prices by buying up 139,000 tonnes of diary products at a cost to the public purse of £237 million. From March 1 until the end of August, the EU will become the owner of 30,000 tonnes of butter and 109,000 tonnes of skimmed powder milk, paid for at above market cost to support the dairy industry. The EU is has also agreed to begin new export subsidies for European butter, milk powder and butteroil. Export subsidies and EU food stocks were last used in 2007 and the Commission last year tried to scrap such payments, a reform that was blocked by France and Germany. Commission officials have played down the measure as a temporary move after a steep slide in milk prices triggered a 33 per cent decline in butter exports last year.”

Trying to manipulate the European dairy market through false and expensive subsidies may make the French ecstatic but all it shows is a protectionist attitude which will hurt those in the Third World trying to increase their own agriciultural exports. Just for once, I agree with Oxfam on this.

Hat-tip to the All Seeing Eye.


  1. I am in two minds about this. Europe needs to retain its agricultural productivity. We cannot depend on food imports; it is an issue of regional/national security.

    On the other hand, this will lead to increased food production and an increase in population. This increasing population will be born in the third world, but a significant percentage will enter the EU, putting further strain on an already overpopulated continent.

    Global food production needs to stop and, ideally, fall. It is the only way to reduce global population. The only real way to achieve this is to stop treating food as a commodity. Farmers should be paid a set wage, dependent on the quality of the food they produce; they should not be paid on the quantity they produce. This is the only way to stop overproduction.

  2. Whats to bet that under Labour there will be no free handouts of butter to the pensioners and people on benefit , only the evil Tories did that .

  3. "If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it.

    That has become the official mantra of the Obama Administration