Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Written Evidence

Memorandum submitted by HM Treasury

Letter to the Chairman of the Committee from Paul Boateng MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury 17 June 2004

  I would like to reassure you that the Government takes the issue of flooding and coastal erosion very seriously, and is committed to investment in preventative solutions. As such, in the 2002 Spending Review, Defra was allocated £443 million for flood and coastal defence. Other expenditure awarded to ODPM amounted to over £1 billion, giving a total UK expenditure of £1.47 billion over the Spending Review period.

  In your letter, you raised the Government's policy of setting spending plans over three years. Spending Reviews give Departments medium-term certainty over their budgets, enabling them to plan their spending programmes effectively. Biennial Spending Reviews offer the opportunity to reconsider Departments spending requirements in the light of developments since the previous Spending Review, and are consistent with expenditure programmes that last longer than a single Spending Review cycle. This arrangement, therefore, allows the Government to continually assess areas in which sustained investment is required, such as in the management of flooding and coastal erosion.

  I hope that you have found this reply helpful.

Paul Boateng MP
Chief Secretary to the Treasury

June 2004

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