UK weather: Cameron offers £10m lifeline to flood-hit businesses
Monday 17 February 2014
David Cameron has unveiled a £10 million pound package of support for businesses affected by the flooding crisis.
Small and medium-sized firms that suffered "significant loss of trade" will be able to access funds so they can meet clean-up costs and keep trading in the wake of the winter storms, the Prime Minister said yesterday. Companies filing late accounts because of the crisis will not incur penalties.
Mr Cameron said he wanted to help companies get "back on their feet" and insisted the Government was "taking action across the board".
"Dealing with these floods will be a long haul, requiring a stepped-up national effort with the whole country pulling together," he added.
It was also announced yesterday that the Army will carry out a "rapid inspection" of England's flood defences within five weeks. The Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show the Government had agreed with the Environment Agency that the Royal Engineers would begin inspecting flood defences next Monday, with about 200 personnel likely to be involved.
The Welsh government has already carried out a review of its coastal flood defences, which found they had "performed well" in December and January. It said it was spending £4.6m to repair damage done by the storms and support businesses affected.
The Government's atest moves came as Ed Miliband urged the Government to properly address the link between the flooding and global climate change.
The Labour leader said: "Climate change will mean more floods and more storms and that's why we've got to treat it like any other national security issue, and that means uniting as a country behind a national effort."
Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State John Kerry also hit out at climate change deniers who he said were basing their belief on the work of "shoddy scientists" and ignoring what was "perhaps the world's most fearsome weapon of destruction". He told a conference in Jakarta: "Because of climate change it is no secret that today Indonesia is one of the most vulnerable countries on Earth."
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