THE Environment secretary Michael Gove is taking from wealthy landowners with one hand but giving it back with the other through tax advantages.

Mr Gove told agriculturists in Oxford last week that paying landowners for the amount of agricultural land they have is 'unjust, inefficient and drives perverse outcomes'.

Mr Gove says it gives the most from the public purse to those who have the most private wealth.

However this promise to crack down on subsidies is meaningless without ending the ability of landowners to use agricultural land as a tax haven or tax shelter.

This is sleight-of-hand politics from Gove. He is giving the appearance of taking from wealthy landowners with one hand while giving back to them with the other in the form of unjust tax advantages.

But taxes and subsidies should be treated as a package, they are two sides of the same coin.

If Mr Gove is serious about the injustices associated with land ownership in this country he would call time on the use of agricultural land to hide and shelter wealth.

Agricultural land offers generous tax breaks as it is exempt from inheritance tax after two years if it is actively farmed.

The fact that the sale of a farming asset can be rolled over into a new business or acquisition offers further tax relief. That is perverse.

Michael Gove needs to consider both taxes and subsidies when developing his new plan for farming.

Mr Gove is part of the 'Brextremist' set whose agenda has always included creating a low tax economy post-Brexit and protecting the UK’s offshore tax havens.

Such an agenda would clearly benefit the nation's wealthy landowners.