Lord Sheikh asked Her Majesty’s Government:
- What efficiency savings are generated each year within the Environment Agency’s flood management programme; whether these are sufficient to cover inflationary pressures so that spending in real terms is maintained; and how these inflationary pressures will be accommodated in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review. [HL3533]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Environment Agency (EA) currently delivers £15 million of savings each year against an overall budget of approximately £450 million for flood risk management. This equates to just over 3 per cent and these efficiencies cover only part of the inflationary burden that is currently running at between 4 per cent and 5 per cent. To date, it has been possible to reprioritise activities to allow key outputs to be maintained in keeping with the 2004 spending review target.