Budget 2016: Areas hit by heavy rainfall boosted by £700m pledge

Environmental campaigners welcome announcement but cautions more money still needs to be invested

Tom Bawden
Environment Editor
Thursday 17 March 2016 00:39
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Parts of York flooded in December when the rivers Ouse and Foss burst their banks
Parts of York flooded in December when the rivers Ouse and Foss burst their banks

Britain’s ailing flood defences are getting a much-needed financial boost with the promise of a £700m injection for the most vulnerable areas.

Environmental campaigners welcomed the announcement but cautioned more money still needs to be invested, in physical flood defences and in other techniques to slow the flow of water during intense rainfall.

George Osborne will fund the cash injection by raising the standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) from 9.5 per cent to 10 per cent. IPT is a tax on insurers that, if passed on to their customers, will increase the average home and contents insurance premium by £1 a year and the average motor policy by £2.

The funds will strengthen and repair defences damaged by this winter’s storms, in Leeds, York, Carlisle, wider Cumbria and Calder Valley in West Yorkshire. Together, the projects will mean more than 7,400 properties in the north of England are better protected, the Chancellor said.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Guy Shrubsole said: “With the prospect of increasingly bad weather due to climate change, we need to invest a lot more.”

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