Flooding: Agriculture Industry

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 4 February 2016.

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Photo of Nick Smith Nick Smith Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 9:30, 4 February 2016

The Secretary of State says that DEFRA wants to be able to spend more on flood defences by reducing the millions paid in penalties to the EU every year. However, the National Audit Office says that the Rural Payments Agency fiasco could cost the country a whopping £180 million a year in penalties. Can the Minister confirm the most recent estimate of the amounts that are being paid to Brussels in fines, rather than being spent on British agriculture and dealing with flooding?