Vacuum maker ‘hoovers’ up UK’s biggest EU basic payment

The creator and founder of the renowned vacuum cleaner brand Dyson was the largest private recipient of EU basic payments in the UK last year, figures show.

An investigation carried out by Greenpeace Energydesk has shown that Sir James Dyson’s company, Beeswax Farming (Rainbow) Ltd, netted a basic payment of £1.6 million (€1.8 million) last year.

Included in this was a payment of over £511,000 (€581,742) for greening practices beneficial for the climate and the environment.

This was the the second highest basic payment issued in the UK last year; with the largest piece of the pie – just over £42,000 (€47,828) more – going to the National Trust.

Apparently, the basic payment received by Dyson’s company increased by approximately £200,000 (€227,872) in 2016, compared to the previous year’s figure.

The farm business owned by Dyson, who supports Brexit, is now the biggest for-profit recipient of direct EU farm subsidies in the UK, according to Greenpeace Energydesk.

Having grown up on a farm in Norfolk, Dyson is known for having a very keen interest in farming.

Dyson established his technology company – which designs and manufactures vacuum cleaners, hand dryers, bladeless fans, heaters and hair dryers – in 1987. The company reportedly employs more than 5,000 people worldwide.

It took a number of years and thousands of prototypes before Dyson launched his first vacuum and set up his company. At the time, all vacuum clears used bags and Dyson found that they lost suction due to a build up of dust.

Meanwhile, by analysing the top 100 recipients of EU farm subsidies in the UK in 2016, it was revealed that one in five of these recipients would make the Sunday Times Rich List.

A total of £11.2 million (€12.75 million) was paid to these top 100 recipients last year; an increase of about £600,000 (€683,000), Greenpeace Energydesk stated.

This was despite an overall decline in the amount of money paid out under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), it said.