Yes. In keeping with the established principals of the Bellwin scheme we take the view—as have previous Administrations—that it is reasonable to expect authorities to cover costs themselves up to a certain level. Every authority is required to maintain reserves, one of whose main purposes is to meet unexpected costs.
The threshold above which an authority is eligible to claim Bellwin funding is 0.2 per cent. of its annual budget and is only applied once in the financial year. Therefore, if an authority exceeded its threshold in June and was hit by floods again in July it would not be required to spend up to the threshold in July before qualifying for grant. For the recent flooding, expenditure above the threshold will be eligible for 100 per cent. assistance from Government, and the Bellwin scheme announced for the recent flooding was, alongside that for the floods in 2000, the most generous ever announced.