Defra spending 'more money than ever' on tackling floods

The Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has rebutted concerns raised by MPs that the department may struggle to deal with future flooding as a result of cuts to its budget.

Water covers the coastal roads at Clevelys near Blackpool
Water covers the coastal roads at Clevelys near Blackpool Credit: John Giles/PA Wire

A spokesman said the department was currently spending "more money than ever before" on tackling the risk of flooding and coastal erosion, putting the figure at more than £2.3 billion.

"We'll also be making record levels of capital investment and will be spending over £400 million by 2020/21," he added.

"In addition we have provided the Environment Agency with an above-inflation increase of £5 million on their floods maintenance work in 2015/16."

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MPs' concerns cuts could affect Defra's flood response

MPs have said it is vital that Defra preserves its ability to respond to emergencies, such as the recent flooding, despite deep cuts to its budget.