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Met Office Funding

Volume 603: debated on Tuesday 15 December 2015

2. What steps he is taking to ensure that the Government receives value for money from its funding of the Met Office. (902699)

The Met Office plays a key role in our economy. A recent review of the public weather service assessed it as delivering up to £1.5 billion of annual value. As the shareholder for the Met Office, I and my officials regularly hold it to account and ensure it delivers value for money for the taxpayer.

The BBC, no less, reported in 2012 that in 11 out of the previous 12 years predictions about increases in temperature had been wrong and that there had been a warm bias. Does the Secretary of State, as the shareholder, agree that he should be asking some tough questions at the board meeting about why we should be imposing expensive climate change policies on businesses and householders, when so often the predictions behind them are proved to be inaccurate?

I always like to ask tough questions, but I note there was flooding in my hon. Friend’s constituency recently, and the Met Office played a key role in helping the emergency services and protecting lives and property. Today is an opportunity to commend the Met Office for some of the work it does.