Irish farming relies heavily on state support in the form of subsidies and barriers to international trade. Irish farming receives in the region of €1.5-2bn annually. The Common Agricultural Policy makes up more than 40% of the budget of the EU. Is this a sensible policy for Ireland and other European countries to continue with?
Consumers pay more for food than would be the case without state restrictions on trade. Consumers also have to pay for the income supports farmers receive. Why?
Everyone's favourite right-wing, free-market-loving villain, Paul Krugman, has referred to U.S. farm subsidies as "grotesque". It doesn't make sense from an economic point of view to keep supporting the farming industry. How can the enormous cost of these programs be justified?
What are your thoughts on this issue?