Lord Sheikh asked Her Majesty’s Government:
- How much was spent on flood management and defence in 1997 and 2006; and how much capital was invested in preventive measures in those years.
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): My Lords, in 1996-97, total government spend on flood management in England was £307 million. Last year it was £590 million. The capital sums for the two years were approximately £127 million and £273 million respectively. All these figures include coast protection projects, which often provide significant flood-risk benefits.
Lord Sheikh: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for that response. Does he agree that spending on flood defences needs to rise from the current level of £590 million to £750 million a year by 2011, which is an increase of around 10 per cent each year, so that people and businesses can continue to feel secure in the knowledge that the Government have a long-term, planned and sustainable approach to the reduction of flood risk?
Lord Rooker: My Lords, I agree with the noble Lord’s general point but I cannot agree with the figure. We are spending more than ever before and some £4 billion has been spent across England in the past 10 years. The later years of which he speaks will be subject to the Comprehensive Spending Review that will be conducted later this year.