When Effluent hits the Affluent
When the flooding extended to the home of the wealthy in the Thames Valley (or as one tweeter put it, ‘when the effluent hits the affluent’) suddenly the Prime Minister says that ‘money is no object in this relief effort’. Tory voters in the Home Counties suddenly demand more Government spending and forget that they voted to reduce the public sector.
Short Term Savings but Long Term Costs
The rain which is causing the present flooding has been exceptional, but cutting the budget for flood-risk management has “left a £500 million hole in the defences, and will result in £3 billion of damage in the longer term,” according to the Committee on Climate Change which advises the Government. In spite of this expert advice, the Environment Secretary, Owen Patterson, has reduced the funding for adapting to climate change by a massive 40%. The Environment Agency has reduced its staff by 25% as a result of budget cuts.
All this from the Government which said it would be the greenest ever!