£500m could be raised for flood defences via local taxes

The government has unveiled proposals to overhaul flood investment. Under the plans, launched by environment secretary Caroline Spelman at last week’s ABI flooding conference, developers and community groups will be expected to match fund central government investment on small-scale flood projects.

Dr Andy Johnston, director of the Local Government Information Unit, told the conference that the think-tank’s yet to be published research showed that £500m could be levied for flood defences through new local taxes.

He said the study showed that the tax increment finance, recently announced in the comprehensive spending review, could raise £300m, with business rate supplements generating another £200m.