Hot Gas Export Subsidy, Letter To The BBC, 14 March 1995

No idea what I was driving at with this one, other than a small donation to Comic Relief. I had spent some time the previous year looking at EU export subsidy schemes, so perhaps I had some frustration to vent.

Farming Today 14 March 1995
New Subsidy/Comic Relief
BBC Broadcasting House
Dear Sirs


The European Commission today announced a new subsidy relating to exports of compost. The value of the subsidy will be measured in ECU per cubic meter of gaseous product. The subsidy will be known colloquially as the “Hot Gas Export” subsidy.

A spokesman for the Commission explained “we suddenly realised that a Hot Gas Export subsidy could be of enormous benefit to Europe and in particular the Commission. Indeed, if we set the level of subsidy high enough, the Commission itself will immediately become economically sustainable or possibly even very profitable.”

The spokesman continued, “We appreciate that there may be some problems measuring the volume, value and destination of Hot Gas Export in order to substantiate each claim, but measurement problems have never stopped us before and certainly won’t stop us this time.”

The Commission spokesman then waffled on for a further three hours on the subject, producing vast quantities of hot air without really saying anything new. He then presented me with a Hot Gas Export subsidy claim for 159,000 ECU.

As a contribution towards this claim, I enclose a tenner for Comic Relief.

Yours faithfully
Ian Harris


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