asked Her Majesty's Government:
What efficiency savings are generated each year within the Environment Agency's flood management programme; whether these are sufficient to cover inflationary pressures so that spending in real terms is maintained; and how these inflationary pressures will be accommodated in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.
The Environment Agency (EA) currently delivers £15 million of savings each year against an overall budget of approximately £450 million for flood risk management. This equates to just over 3 per cent and these efficiencies cover only part of the inflationary burden that is currently running at between 4 per cent and 5 per cent. To date, it has been possible to reprioritise activities to allow key outputs to be maintained in keeping with the 2004 spending review target.
The EA is working to ensure that further efficiencies are delivered and has contributed evidence on funding requirements to inform the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.