Floods budget has been cut by £250m, says statistics watchdog

 

Claims by the Prime Minister and the Environment Secretary that the government was spending more than ever before on flood defences have been undermined by fresh figures.

The UK Statistics Authority, the statistics watchdog, concluded the flood defence budget has been cut by £247 million, according to reports.

Sir Andrew Dilnot, the head of the agency, said that if external funding is excluded it would be inaccurate to claim that “more is being spent than ever before”.

The finding supports a similar conclusion in analysis by the House of Commons library which maintained that spending from 2007 to 2011 was £2.37bn compared to projected spending for 2011 to 2015 of £2.34bn.

Labour and the Conservatives have traded blows in recent weeks over flood defence spending, each claiming they spend more than the other. The subject is to be debated in the Commons today.

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