DEFRA’s formal Comprehensive Spending Review settlement for 2008-09 to 20010-11 has been announced. The Secretary of State has also announced that annual Government spending on flood and coastal erosion risk management will rise to a minimum of £650 million in 2008-09, and £700 million in 2009-10, reaching £800 million by 2010-11. These figures compare with a forecast spend of £600 million in 2007-08 and is the minimum we propose to spend in each of the coming years. It is too early to determine whether this will be the final allocation, or whether it will be possible to go further.
DEFRA will now consider its own financial allocation process, during which budgets for the Environment Agency will be determined. This process will be based on careful prioritisation across the Department and all its sponsored bodies. Allocations between operating authorities will be confirmed following the medium-term planning exercise for capital projects later this year.