Flooding is the biggest threat the UK faces from climate change - Mary Creagh

7 February 2013

Mary CreaghMary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, responding to the Government’s announcement on flooding, said:
 
“Flooding is the biggest threat the UK faces from climate change, yet the Government will spend less on flood defences next year than Labour invested in 2008. Every £1 invested in flood defences saves £8 later and prevents untold human misery.

“Flood-hit communities are growing ever more anxious over the availability and affordability of flood insurance once Labour’s deal with the insurance industry expires in June. Incompetent Ministers have done nothing for two years – they need to get a grip on flood insurance and ensure that people in the 200,000 high-risk properties are able to insure their homes.”


*  Defra today announced £294 million of spending on flood defences for 2013/14. This is less than Labour invested in 2008/09.
*  The Government cut the Defra flood capital budget by 27% in the Comprehensive Spending Review – from £354 million in 2010/11 to £259 million a year from 2011/12 onwards.

    2007-08 
  2008-9 
  2009-10 
  2010-11 
  2011-12 
 2012-13 
  From Defra (£ million) 
264.5 340 349 354 259 259

(Source: Richard Benyon, Defra Mnister, written answer, 20 January 2011).

*  In the Autumn Statement the Government announced a partial u-turn increasing the flood capital budget to £294 million in 2013/14.
*  The Statement of Principles between the Government and insurance industry runs out at the end of June 2013. This deal ensures that flood insurance is widely available in flood-risk areas.
*  The ABI has warned that up to 200,000 high-risk households will face problems in getting flood insurance from July 2013, unless the Government agrees a new sustainable long-term solution for insurance. http://www.abi.org.uk/Media/ABI_Media_Statements/60568.pdf
*  The Environment Agency calculates that every £1 they invest in flood defences saves £8 in the long term.