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British Rebate: Why Them?  
User currently offlineRootsAir From Costa Rica, joined Feb 2005, 4186 posts, RR: 41
Posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1348 times:

These days will be discussed the Europan budget and one of the main subject is to freeze Britain's rebate!

My quetion is, why does Britain have a rebate? After all they are part of the wealthier nations in the E.U. If someone could answer that question it would be appreciated as i don't really understand what this whole rebate story is about

Regards

BM


A man without the knowledge of his past history,culture and origins is like a tree without roots
36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1337 times:

It is because Britain wasn't making nearly as much out of the Common Agricultural Policy back in the 90's when this was negociated, so to make it fair, Britain got a rebate of EUR5bn or something per year off their EU contributions.

I don't see any need for the rebate any more, but I don't see the need for vast agricultural subsidies either, for France and others (who blatantly milk the system, pardon the pun). If we're serious about fair trade and an open market, this has to apply to agricultural produce as well.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 54
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1325 times:

It was 1984, incidentally.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
I don't see any need for the rebate any more, but I don't see the need for vast agricultural subsidies either, for France and others (who blatantly milk the system, pardon the pun). If we're serious about fair trade and an open market, this has to apply to agricultural produce as well.

Yes, exactly right. The British rebate is utterly unreasonable now, but then again, it's utterly unreasonable that even with the rebate Britain pays two and a half times more than France and Italy, and without it would pay fifteen times as much. So the argument is, why should we give up our rebate to subsidise France? The point is that the whole budget is a mess, and the British rebate is a symptom, not a cause.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1323 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 2):
it's utterly unreasonable that even with the rebate Britain pays two and a half times more than France and Italy, and without it would pay fifteen times as much.

Wow - the French must have been guffawing into their sleeves when Britain signed up to that ! Ka-CHING !! That is outrageous, though. Clearly contributions must be determined according to the countries ability to fork out, but there's no way that kind of disparity can exist.


User currently offlineTPASXM787 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1314 times:

I was listening to the BBC on the drive to work today, and it seems as of the relationships with in the EU (mainly France, GB, Spain, and Italy) are icy at best. It seems as if two days of meetings will not be enough to accomplish anything. The rebate GB gets does make it much more fair, although it does seem excessive, they should not pay 15x what anyone says. Also seems like France and Holland have really thrown a wrench in the process. Will be interesting to see what happens.


This is the Last Stop.
User currently offlineIakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3312 posts, RR: 35
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 1304 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 2):
but then again, it's utterly unreasonable that even with the rebate Britain pays two and a half times more than France and Italy,

Where did you catch this Banco ?
Are you prepared to read some actual figures ?

Rebate: 1984
A Maggie Tatcher achievement, signed for by Mssrs Mitterand and Kohl.
At the time a justifiable cutback since:
a/ the UK economy was in dire straits and needed some "help"
b/ the CAP (common agri policy) benefits very little to the UK

The rebate for FY '94 was 4.6 billion Euro.

Mr Blair, as the seasoned politician he is, wants (aka fights) to link the rebate with other budgetary issues, including the CAP.
Others (ie. the remaining 24 EU members) see that as two different things.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1286 times:

Quoting Iakobos (Reply 5):
Where did you catch this Banco ?
Are you prepared to read some actual figures ?

You haven't actually given any figures.

Anyway, the "two and a half times" figure is for the last fifteen years. Look it up, it's accurate.

Now, the latest figures for 2003 are that Britain (with the rebate) is a net contributor of 2.8 billion Euros. France is 1.9 billion (still far less) and Italy 0.8 billion. Without the rebate, it becomes completely ludicrous, and that's the fifteen times as much statistic.

So the UK still pays far more than comparable economies even with the rebate. The reason for that is that the UK receives less money as a proportion of GDP for farming (which still makes up 40% of the EU budget) than any country except Luxembourg. It's bonkers.

Now, as I've said right from the start, the UK rebate isn't sustainable. Of course it isn't. But if you remove it, then the UK suddenly becomes the largest contributor by a country mile, and that's politically impossible for Blair to sell to a country already deeply sceptical of the EU.

This is where the whole issue of the subsidies France recieves comes in. Eastern European nations are one thing (and waiving that bit would only cost 200 million), but why the hell should the British cough up huge amounts of money to go into the back pockets of French farmers? It needs fundamental reform, the whole thing.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13046 posts, RR: 78
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1280 times:

You could be really unkind and suggest that busted flush, referendum humiliated Chirac, is into doing a smokescreen, just as many in the UK fully expected, it's his reflex reaction after all, nothing is ever HIS fault.
Schoeder, well he's another bound for the political dustbin too.

France is a rich, highly productive nation, if they want to retain 'the French agricultural way of life', then do it with your own money.
In the agricultural sector within the EU, there are much more deserving cases in the new membership, not a bunch who have sucked off the EU teat for 40+ years.


User currently offlineWhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1267 times:



Quoting Iakobos (Reply 5):
Mr Blair, as the seasoned politician he is, wants (aka fights) to link the rebate with other budgetary issues, including the CAP.

Quite right too.

Here it is in simple terms.

Without the rebate, Britain's money pours into a black hole.
The rebate stops the money flowing so fast.
France and the other nations wants the flow of money to be resumed, we want the hole filling in.

Unfortunately the hole is mainly situated in France....which means despite their contribution being large they get a large chunk of it back in subsidies.

Cure? Scrap the CAP altogether, or put both the flow of money and the black hole on the agenda together. Otherwise go knock on another door. We aren't paying to see it go down the hole.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13804 posts, RR: 63
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1259 times:

Quoting TPASXM787 (Reply 4):
I was listening to the BBC on the drive to work today, and it seems as of the relationships with in the EU (mainly France, GB, Spain, and Italy) are icy at best. It seems as if two days of meetings will not be enough to accomplish anything. The rebate GB gets does make it much more fair, although it does seem excessive, they should not pay 15x what anyone says. Also seems like France and Holland have really thrown a wrench in the process. Will be interesting to see what happens.

I lidtened this morning to the German radio station WDR 5, which was telling about the same. The problem is that both countries, the UK and France, insist on their maximum demands. In the past Germany has been defusing such issues by contributing the missing funds from it´s own tax payers money, to keep the peace in the EU (last under Chancellor Kohl). Due to the German economic crisis this is now notz possible anymore.

Also, it seems that the comissioners have been largely understating the true expenses of the EU extension, telling everybody that everything would just work as before.
This is obviously not the case.
IMO, the countries, which have received EU structural funds moneys and funds from the agricultural programme, have to step back now, 20+ years should have been enough to modernise the agricultural business, and leave the funds for poorer newcomers.

Jan


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1255 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 9):
The problem is that both countries, the UK and France, insist on their maximum demands.

Actually, no. The UK wants a fundamental reform of the entire thing, not just for the rebate to continue. It's not just the amounts either, since the EU can't find an Auditor within the whole of Europe to actually sign of the EC's accounts because it's so corrupt, it's hardly surprising that this demand for root and branch reform is being made. Here, it isn't and never was about keeping the rebate, it's about making the whole damn thing fair from the start. If that were to happen, it's distinctly possible that the UK might pay more (and Germany less) but fairness is the key, not the money as such.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1250 times:



Says it all really. Although bear in mind that per capita, Britain is a net contributor of about €50 a hear each year. Luxembourg is the biggest per capita contributor at €120 a head.

It's ironic that a Greek takes a pretty adversarial attitude to this issue, Greece is the third largest per capita receiver of payments at just over €300 (!) per head.


User currently offlineWhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1229 times:

I've got no issue with structural funds being used for the right purpose, but when so much money is flowing down the black hole of agriculture then it's time to say no more.

Using funds for places like the new Baltic states, Greece and other historically poor nations is a correct use. Look how it jumpstarted the Irish economy. The current situation shoves too much money at farming and in particular farmers in places like France. Which is a wealthy nation.

So bolllocks to Jacques. He's only kicking off because he got a stuffing in the Constitution vote. The British are batting for a fair restructuring and if we are in a minority of one then it's still worth the fight.

In twenty years Europe would be thanking us for it.


User currently offlineIakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3312 posts, RR: 35
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1209 times:

2004

Net balance of contributions (in billions of Euros)
Germany -7.65
UK -2.76
Netherlands -1.96
France -1.91
Sweden -0.95
Italy -0.79
Belgium -0.78
.......
Ireland +1.57
Greece +3.37
Portugal +3.48
Spain +8.73

Net balance per capita (Euro/population unit)
Netherlands -120
Sweden -105.6
Germany - 92.7
Belgium -75
UK -46.4
Austria -42
Denmark -38.9
France -31.9
.......
Spain + 4.9
Greece +27.9
Portugal +31.6
Ireland +98.1

Net balance per capita modulated by GNI per capita
(aka how much an "average" EU citizen "pays" in relation to his income)
Netherlands 0.56% (and they voted "NO" with this figure in mind)
Sweden 0.45%
Germany 0.45%
Belgium 0.35%
......
UK 0.2%
France 0.16%

Quoting Banco (Reply 6):
but why the hell should the British cough up huge amounts of money to go into the back pockets of French farmers?

Captain Hook's reading in heavy fog. If you find the opportunity, ask a British gentleman-farmer what he thinks of it.


User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1205 times:

Quoting Iakobos (Reply 13):
Net balance per capita modulated by GNI per capita
(aka how much an "average" EU citizen "pays" in relation to his income)

Sorry, too much of a fiddle. Why not work out how much each citizen pays to the EU with respect to the rest of the tax burden they face? Eventually you'll get to a point where Greeks pay �12000 each a year and everyone else takes it all, right?

Whichever way you slice it, Greece gets a lot of money from the EU. So perhaps you should sort your own house out before commenting on the Western European nations that are financing you.


User currently offlineIakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3312 posts, RR: 35
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1191 times:

Since I am not Greek, you are all in for buying me a drink of my choice...you can choose the pub though, like Asterix I am afraid of only one thing.
Pitty you are only three so far, I will have to moderate my thirst.

AFAIK I have never stated my opinion on the present-day EU, and hint, it is not all that favourable, even if I was and still am a proponent of a common European idea in a certain sense, and looking back at what has been achieved in 5 decades, it would take an extremist in a crisis of delirium tremens to find it negative.

What I dislike, and this has nothing to do with the EU in itself, is that people throw in too easily "out of the blue" weights and lengths to impress upon the less informed and/or the lazy. After three black and than (I assume you know) I am quite sure any decent Englishman would agree with this.
Example:

Quoting Banco (Reply 2):
it's utterly unreasonable that even with the rebate Britain pays two and a half times more than France and Italy, and without it would pay fifteen times as much.

The net contribution of the Kingdom of Her Majesty is 44% higher than that of His Excellency the President. Without the rebate, and supposing no other changes take place, it would be 3.85 times more.

Sorry I have no program to decipher Celtic (?) hieroglyphs.
I took the time to calculate figures per capita and figures per capita in relation to the GNI (which is the biggest source of income of the EU, and exactly the same for all member countries, at IIRC 1.24% of national GNI)

A long time ago, it was agreed that the bulk of structural funds would go to the four "poorer" members. Ireland is a model. Spain did well.
Portugal and Greece so-so, but both are coming from very far behind.

777236ER, the average UK citizen sees 0.20% of his income diverted to the EU. In any currency, if you make 2,000 gross monthly, 4 Euro disappear down the drain. How much is a beer ?

ps: I am deeply thankful that my financing does not rely on rainy island pennies...anyway start saving for the drinks.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 54
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1159 times:

Quoting Iakobos (Reply 13):
Captain Hook's reading in heavy fog. If you find the opportunity, ask a British gentleman-farmer what he thinks of it.

As someone who lives in a rural area, I know exactly what they think of it, so why don't you buy me that drink? They think it's a mess, because they are more efficient than most of their counterparts on the continent, and therefore by the twisted logic of the CAP receive less subsidy. The suggestion that the CAP would meet with approval from British farmers is so ludicrous as to be beyond comment. They hate it. They either want a level playing field with no subsidy (admittedly not their preferred choice), or a fair one.

Quoting Iakobos (Reply 15):
A long time ago, it was agreed that the bulk of structural funds would go to the four "poorer" members. Ireland is a model. Spain did well.
Portugal and Greece so-so, but both are coming from very far behind.

Precisely so. And I don't think you'll find anyone who objects to countries like these receiving EU money. It's the likes of France that piss people off. Why don't you go back over the years and you'll find that France, despite being one of the most affluent of European nations throughout the last 30 years, has only very recently become a net contributor at all, let alone to any great level.

Quoting Iakobos (Reply 15):
777236ER, the average UK citizen sees 0.20% of his income diverted to the EU. In any currency, if you make 2,000 gross monthly, 4 Euro disappear down the drain. How much is a beer ?

So what? Just because they're small doesn't mean you should pay up without question, let alone when it's a bloated, corrupt, wasteful institution taking the money.

Quoting Iakobos (Reply 15):
The net contribution of the Kingdom of Her Majesty is 44% higher than that of His Excellency the President. Without the rebate, and supposing no other changes take place, it would be 3.85 times more.

Ooh, let's take one year in isolation!  Yeah sure Even then you seem to be suggesting a UK contribution nearly 4 times greater than France is areasonable. I was hesitant in putting 2003 in because a single year is meaningless in itself. Try looking over the last 15 years, which is around when the UK began its sudden rise in affluence, and total UK contributions without the rebate would have been 15 times those of France.

Once again, let us address the point you keep refusing to mention. The rebate is a symptom of how utterly unfair the whole budget is, not a cause. Yes, the rebate needs to go, no argument, but not without structural reform of the whole thing.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineCornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 54
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1141 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 16):
Quoting Iakobos (Reply 13):
Captain Hook's reading in heavy fog. If you find the opportunity, ask a British gentleman-farmer what he thinks of it.

As someone who lives in a rural area, I know exactly what they think of it, so why don't you buy me that drink? They think it's a mess, because they are more efficient than most of their counterparts on the continent, and therefore by the twisted logic of the CAP receive less subsidy. The suggestion that the CAP would meet with approval from British farmers is so ludicrous as to be beyond comment. They hate it. They either want a level playing field with no subsidy (admittedly not their preferred choice), or a fair one.

Precisely. I'll give the west/southwest of England as an example. Its the area I come from, its rural, we have farmers in the family and I know most of the local farmers to where my family live.

The region has arguably the best climatic/land conditions for dairy farming in Europe, and traditionally this was one of the stengths of the region. But CAP penalised them for being so efficient, to the extent that farmers ended up pouring away perfectly good milk to avoid penalties for overproduction. And we were not talking huge farms here with multi-million pound herds and equipent - merely famrers working efficiently.

As a result, most of the farmers found it completely uneconomic to continue dairy farming, and had a choice of diversify or go out of business.

The result, dairy farming is hardly seen in the region anymore. All the fields are full of crops - particularly wheat and barley. The joke is the land and climate are completely wrong for efficent crop farming, yet this is what they are doing as it is the only way to stay in business. Many of course were forced to sell up and go uot of business.

Meanwhile in other places, such as France you can find completely inefficient dairy farming continuing, thanks to a nice level of subsidies from the CAP, with no incentive to streamline and become more efficient.

Therefore the part of Europe which should be best placed to produce the bulk of Europe's dairy produce, id producing next to nothing any more

Is that right - I think not.



Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 54
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1135 times:

Interestingly, this topic of agricultural spending has now become a genuine issue with other countries at the summit, which is hardly what Chirac had in mind when he decided to start this little spat. Angela Merkel, who seems likely to be the next German Chancellor, pointed out that whilst the UK rebate was indefensible, it was hardly reasonable to expect the British to move when the French point blank refuse to budge an inch on agriculture. The Swedes have gone way beyond that, suggesting that agriculture be repatriated to national governments.

And, once again, this is the point. Arguing about the rebate in isolation is idiotic. It's one part of the whole budget. Yes, it needs reform, but so does the rest of it.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1113 times:

I know that the following statement is very politically incorrect but this thread perfectly illustrates why a more closely integrated EU will fail - taking from one to give to the other always sits poorly with those from which the stuff is taken. When the gap between giving and taking grows too big, the givers say that's enough.

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21353 posts, RR: 54
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1105 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 19):
I know that the following statement is very politically incorrect but this thread perfectly illustrates why a more closely integrated EU will fail - taking from one to give to the other always sits poorly with those from which the stuff is taken. When the gap between giving and taking grows too big, the givers say that's enough.

Wrong. Problems generally arise when a) the "givers" have trouble fulfilling their obligations and/or when b) the distance to the "takers" is perceived as too small to justify the transfer.

Right now, agricultural subsidies can be justified for clearly underdeveloped regions; But many regions have grown out of that not least due to decades of support. It´s a good thing, but it necessarily means that subsidies need to be reduced there (and at least some of the funds be redirected to better-suited aid recipients).

It should not be forgotten that a well-developed infrastructure is important for a healthy economy. And infrastructure is a classic responsibility of the public institutions, european, national, regional or local. The EU has been very successful in helping to build a solid infrastructure all through the Union, but it´s obvious that continuous revision of the priorities is necessary.

The mistake many people make is underestimating the extent of the changes that have actually been implemented through the years. Many critics are decades behind on their base assumptions and in dire need of current information.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 54
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1091 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 20):
Right now, agricultural subsidies can....

Er. Klaus. Look, I don't want to worry you or anything, but all that stuff you just wrote? Um. I'm dangerously close to actually agreeing with you. In fact I do. Um. That being the case, what do we do now? I mean, we usually have a row and all that.  worried 



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineGkirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24815 posts, RR: 56
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1089 times:

Dodgy French geezers. All they have to do to claim farmers benefit is to put a plant in a window
Pffftttt....down with the EU  Big grin



When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1087 times:

Quoting Gkirk (Reply 22):
Dodgy French geezers. All they have to do to claim farmers benefit is to put a plant in a window

Nothing so strenous. I think all you need to qualify is to live within a 100km radius of a plant.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 54
Reply 24, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1085 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 23):
I think all you need to qualify is to live within a 100km radius of a plant.

Does the plant only grow for 35 hours a week?



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
25 Cornish : With three hour long lunch breaks....
26 Post contains images Gkirk : 35 hours a week for a plant eh....still twice as long as French humans work
27 Banco : And has both May and August off completely. I think we should subsidise Polish plants. Much better value for money.
28 Post contains images Cornish : And it's all potatoes over there - should make for some nice chips
29 JGPH1A : Plants, oui. Plumbers, mais non ! No you're thinking of Belgium. Plants in France are purely ornamental, like the people.
30 Banco : Are you sure? I remember seeing a protest about evil East European hydreangas coming to take over good honest French flowerbeds, with no consideratio
31 JGPH1A : You speak sooth, mon grand, but it's just the silly Nationalists and Monarchists complaining. After all, isn't the famed Cote d'Azur mimosa actually
32 Post contains images Klaus : Must be a virus going around... But I´m sure you´ll recover in no time!
33 Banco : Have you tried deporting them? I believe we adopted that policy at one point, and I think most people will agree it was rather successful.
34 JGPH1A : Yes but 200 years later they're back again ! Honestly, you send them to the other side of the world, and a couple of centuries later they turn up in
35 Banco : That's the trouble with these hardy perennials. Unless you get the roots they always come back. You can go for the ultra strong stuff to keep them do
36 Post contains images JGPH1A : And the problem with that would be...?
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