The environment minister Dan Rogerson said Government spending on flood defences has protected "1.4 million properties" from flooding.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Mr Rogerson justified the spending levels after an extra £270m was used in Somerset due to the "wettest winter on record."
An influential committee of MPs says regular dredging of rivers on the Somerset Levels must continue if we're to avoid a repeat of last winter's floods.
The cross-party DEFRA select committee says regular maintenance is essential to protect homes, businesses and farmland. It says dredging is as important as building new defences, and calls for greater powers for local water boards.
MP Anne McIntosh, who chairs the committee, says the government should rely on local knowledge of people living on the Levels.
MPs have welcomed £270 million extra funding for tackling flooding that has been announced by the Government this year, but said £130 million of that had been reallocated from elsewhere in the Environment Department's budget, rather than being additional.
We have repeatedly called on the Government to increase revenue funding so that necessary dredging and watercourse maintenance can be carried out to minimise flood risk, yet funding for maintenance remains at a bare minimum.
Ministers must take action now to avoid a repeat of the devastation caused by the winter floods.
The Government needs to recognise the importance of regular maintenance work and put it on an equal footing with building new defences.
Overall funding did not reflect the increased flood risk the country faced. Funding for maintenance work - a "Cinderella" area - needs to keep pace with the growing risk caused by more frequent extreme weather events and to look after an increasing number of flood defences being built, the MPs said.
They urged the Environment Department (Defra) to draw up fully-funded plans to address the current backlog of maintenance work, including routine dredging, as well as to maintain the growing numbers of man-made flood defences.
MPs have warned that maintaining flood protection for communities should take priority over cost-cutting, to prevent a repeat of the devastation caused by the winter floods.
The Parliamentary Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) committee said in a report on the floods that funding for clearing rivers, routine dredging and maintaining existing flood defences is at a "bare minimum".
While the committee commended the relief effort for the floods, which saw 7,000 properties flooded as the UK was hit by repeated storms and the wettest winter on record, they said investment in flood prevention was preferable to spending on clean-up.
The Met Office is warning us to expect many more flash floods and warmer summers, due to a changing pattern in our weather system.
It's feared flooding on the scale of Boscastle could be repeated more often. More than 75mm of rain fell in just two hours over the Cornish village in 2004.
Seth Conway reports.
The Met Office has warned that flash flooding could become more common in the South of England by the end of the century.
Forecasters say there will be an increase in 'localised extreme events', such as the floods in Boscastle in August 2004, where rain fell over an eight hour period and caused extreme flooding in the Cornish village.
The Met Office have also predicted that the flooding will be accompanied by summer heat waves by 2040.
A project that uses ex-offenders to prevent flooding has proved such a success that it is going nationwideRead the full story ›
A project pioneered in Cornwall in which ex-offenders help protect communities at risk of flooding is set to be rolled-out across England. John Pegg from the National Flood Forum says the project which began in Lostwithiel has been a huge success:
A project pioneered in Cornwall in which ex-offenders to help protect communities at risk of flooding is set to be rolled-out across England.
The ex-offenders work through the autumn and early winter to clear leaves from drains in South East Cornwall. Blockages are one of the major causes of flooding.
Willow growers on the Somerset Levels are rushing to harvest their crops after being held up by the widespread flooding.Read the full story ›