Sunday, 13 January 2013

Camerons Flood Of Broken Promises

The prime minister tweeted on a Sunday morning in November during a previous flood: "Shocking scenes of flooding in Cornwall and around the country. Govt will help ensure everything is being done to help."

But the coalition Government pledged to cut spending on flood defences from £2.3bn to £2.1bn. To put this in perspecyive the insurance industry paid out approximately £3 billion after the summer 2007 floods.

The Government has been in talks for two years but as yet an agreement has not been reached. "I'm sure we will do a deal," Mr Cameron said. "We are in negotiations at the moment.
"We need to take a tough approach frankly and it's important insurance companies do what they are meant to, which is provide insurance to households and we are going to make sure that happens."

"We are spending over £2 billion on flood defences over the current four-year period, which is 6% less than was spent over the last four years," he said.

"But as well as that, we are actually encouraging private and other money into flood defences and making sure they are more efficient as we build them.

"I am quite convinced we are going to provide flood defences for another extra 145,000 homes over the period ahead and that's very important. "

But this is all spin. The Guardian revealed, the "cuts have meant that at least 294 flood defence schemes that were in line for funding have not been built. That clearly has a direct impact: fewer homes are protected than expected. But it also means flood home insurance premiums for those most at risk will soar or, at worst, that those homes will be completely uninsurable."

"In 2000, after widespread flooding, the government and the insurance industry made a pact that expires in June 2013. If the government's spending on defences kept pace with the rising risk of floods, then the industry pledged to provide affordable insurance to homeowners. Whatever you think about insurance companies, it is clear that the government has not kept its side of the bargain."

"Everyone, including ministers, agrees that climate change is ramping up the risk of flooding in the UK as rainfall comes in more intense bursts. It will be the most damaging impact of global warming in the UK. Yet the coalition cut funding by over 25% - hundreds of millions of pounds - on taking office."

"Over five million UK homes are at risk of flooding, according to the Environment Agency. If it has happened to you then you'll know the deep trauma that follows your shelter from the world being inundated, forcing you out for months or even years. Without insurance, lives are destroyed."

"But unless Cameron and environment secretary Owen Paterson increase the funding for flood defences and agree to government support to settle a new insurance deal, as many as 200,000 homes will be left in dire straits. The human argument for doing is obvious and so is the economic argument: every pound spent on flood defences saves about £8 in future damages."

"The risk of flooding is rising inexorably and so is the risk to Cameron's government. One major flood in a place that should have been protected could sink his premiership just as George W Bush's presidency floundered after hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans."

1 comment:

howard thomas said...

"Everyone, including ministers, Everyone including ministers agrees that climate change is ramping up the risk of flooding in the UK as rainfall comes in more intense bursts. It will be the most damaging impact of global warming in the UK."

It was only a few short years ago that we were being advised to put plants in our gardens that were able to withstand periods of little or no rainfall because of global warming/climate change.
You can't have it both ways I'm afraid.