Government spending on flood defences slammed by MPs
Commons environment committee demands more money to protect vulnerable people across the country
Oliver Duggan has a BA in Politics and Parliamentary Studies from the University of Leeds and an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City University London. He works as a freelance reporter and editorial assistant for The Independent and i with a focus on Home Affairs and politics.
Thursday 04 July 2013
Government investment in flood defences for vulnerable areas has been attacked as “insufficient” and “short-sighted” by an influential cross-party group of MPs.
The damning evaluation of coalition spending by the House of Commons environment committee indicated that the UK’s watercourses are being neglected due to “low levels” of funding from Whitehall.
Following the wettest spring on record, Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to spend £370m on flood defences annually until 2020 and promised to protect the current maintenance budget from further cuts.
In response, the Conservative chair of the committee, Anne McIntosh, said spending had failed to keep pace with the increasingly severe weather battering much of the UK.
“The Chancellor must ensure that investment increases by £20m, year on year,” she said.
"Record rainfall in the past two years has led to extensive flooding, cost the economy millions and caused disruption and distress to householders and communities across the UK.
“We need that money over the next 25 years to protect homes and businesses better. Maintenance of these defences and effective dredging of watercourses must be a priority.”
The group’s report, which was released today, adds: “Investment remains insufficient to meet growing flood risk. With the likelihood of more frequent severe weather incidents leading to increased flooding, [the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] must convince HM Treasury that capital investment must be increased.”
“Reduced revenue funding in recent years has led to a failure to maintain defences and watercourses effectively. Pegging revenue investment close to current low levels is short-sighted and risks undermining the benefits of capital investment.”
Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, a Defra spokeswoman highlighted the Government’s commitment to maintaining flood defence investment up to 2020, stressing the money would be used “on long-term projects”.
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 3 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ferguson decision: Tea Party website mocks Michael Brown's family over T-shirt typo
Michael Brown shooting: Ten things we know – or know better – now the Ferguson grand jury's work is over
Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Derren Brown on the disappointment of coming out: 'It’s not that people react badly to it – they really don't care'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...