At an estimated cost of £112 a year per household, the issue of so-called green levies on energy bills has been getting party leaders hot under the collar recently.
But compare that with the estimated £400 a year the average household pays towards the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which provides payments to farmers.
Unlike green levies, most farming payments do not have a clear benefit for the environment or wider rural development. These subsidies have few strings attached and represent poor value for money. In the next few days, the Government will be making a decision on how much money to transfer from these subsidies towards environmental schemes which support more sustainable farming that will protect soil, improve water quality and benefit our wildlife and landscapes.
It is vital that the Government transfers the maximum possible - 15% - and prioritises environmental schemes in the next Rural Development Programme for England.
At a time when 60 per cent of farmland wildlife species are in decline, and fewer people have access to nature, the decision could have a profound effect on the health of our countryside for many years. Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, supports making CAP money work hard for people and the environment. So we’re calling on the Prime Minister to take his advice and invest in nature. If he does, he will not only deliver for our precious wildlife and landscapes, but also support the rural economy and bring benefits to our health and well-being. After all, our environment provides the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. Now that’s value for money.
Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
The Badger Trust
Bat Conservation Trust
Council For British Archaeology
Freshwater Habitats Trust
Open Spaces Society
The Rivers Trust
Salmon and Trout Association
The Wildlife Trusts
World Society for Protection of Animals