Budget 2016: England flood defences get additional £700m
In a mixed budget from chancellor George Osborne flood defences have received a significant boost...
LONDON, England - In a mixed budget from chancellor George Osborne, including the introduction of a sugar tax on the sugary soft drinks industry, flood defences have received a significant boost.
A total of £700 million will be added to the government’s existing £2.3 billion capital programme, which was set to invest in over 1,500 flood defence schemes across the country.
To generate the extra money, the plan is to increase the standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) - a tax on insurers - from 9.5% to 10%.
Osborne said: “I am going to increase the standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax by just half a percentage point – [from 9.5% to 10%] and commit all the extra money we raise to flood defence spending. That’s a £700m boost to our resilience and flood defences.”
Specifically, flood defence projects in York, Leeds, Calder Valley, Carlisle and across wider Cumbria will receive £150 million.
The government will also provide a further £130 million to repair roads and bridges damaged by Storms Desmond and Eva. At the end of last year the former shut down a water treatment plant in Ireland (read WWi story).
The Budget 2016 document said that: “Many communities experienced the devastating impacts of flooding this winter, with homes and businesses destroyed.”
The additional £700 million will be welcomed in the country. In December 2015 some of the most widespread flooding was witnessed in the UK.
The Environment Agency’s 2009 National Flood Risk Assessment estimates around 5.2 million properties in England, or one in six properties (16%), are at risk of flooding.