Julian Jessop writes for Conservative Home
The benefits can already be seen in at least two areas of DEFRA’s work. The first is Gove’s drive to replace the Common Agricultural Policy with a system of farming subsidies that takes more account of the interests of consumers and taxpayers, while creating stronger incentives to protect the environment. This is entirely sensible. If he does indeed manage to ensure that public money only goes to farmers who deliver wider social and environmental benefits, Gove will deserve to be remembered as one of the great reformers. That he will have angered some powerful vested interests in the process is probably a good thing.
The second is his development of a more credible ‘25-Year Environment Plan’ based on sound economic principles. A good example is the concept of ‘natural capital’, which is an attempt to properly value assets such as the environment and ecosystems and the benefits that they provide. Many feared that this plan would simply be ‘motherhood and apple pie’, devoid of any real substance. Here it may be a relief to some that Gove is still willing to listen to ‘experts’ such as Professor Dieter Helm, the economist.
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