All Agricultural subsidies just end up in landowners pockets and are capitalised into increased land value - such is the logical extension of Ricardo's Law of Economic Rent, for anyone interested classical economics.
We are essentially giving non means tested income support to the country's wealthiest people taken from the income taxes of hard working people.
I cannot believe that we do not have economists advising politicians and defra on this logical outcome of our agri environment system. Our land subsidies are basically saying the taxpayer must fund wildlife and the landowner is to be compensated for not destroying the wildlife on his land. The idea of subsidies giving a yearly rent to landowners for having some wildlife on their land is a logically very bad and is unsustainable for the tax payer, The privilege of holding freehold should conifer a duty to maintain its natural wealth without the direct input of the taxpayer. Landowners should be taxed if they take away the natural wealth of their land for their own private gain to its value to society.
I am very concerned that our economic and legal systems start from the premise that a freeholder has the right to destroy the natural wealth of his land for his own private gain and that society then has a duty to compensate him if we introduce a regulation to stop him doing just what he wants. We should turn the system on its head and say a landowner has a duty to protect wildlife. If he wants to destroy it he must pay society through a land value tax equal to the rental value of the land for the licence to destroy those natural assets for his own private gain. This should go for mineral and oil extraction as well as land.