2 December 2014 Insurance

UK Government pledges £2.3bn for flood defences

The UK Government has pledged £2.3 billion of investment for flood defenses as part of the new National Infrastructure Plan (NIP), a six year programme to help prevent more than £30 billion of economic damage.

Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, will unveil the latest plan which includes 1400 new flood defence projects providing better protection for 300,000 homes.

Major projects include: £196 million for the Thames Estuary programme, £80 million for the Humber Estuary and £73 million for the Boston Barrier/Barrage.

Alexander said: “We all saw the destruction and heartache caused by flooding last year and that is why this investment is vital to build Britain’s defences for the future. The projects we are announcing today will protect some of the country’s most at risk locations ensuing that we will be as prepared as possible for future severe weather.”

Maria Eagle, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, said: “Communities at risk of flooding won’t buy Government spin on what is simply a re-announcement of capital funding confirmed a year ago. This is not new money - at the beginning of this parliament David Cameron cut the flood protection budget by over a £100 million a year.

“As a result we are playing catch up on flood defences. The Committee on Climate Change has already said that the Government’s plans could leave 80,000 additional properties at serious risk of flooding.

“There have been reports of a £500 million black hole in these plans which the Government expect communities to meet themselves. This kind of uncertainty is unfair on those affected - we need a proper long term plan for infrastructure investment including flooding which is why we have called for an Independent National Infrastructure Commission.”

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