Cuts Watch #334: DEFRA’s environmental agencies
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs plans to cuts spending on key environmental agencies by up to 21 per cent over the next four years. Today DEFRA published its Budget for its agencies and other arms length bodies and “indicative allocations for each of the remaining years of the Spending Review period.” The cuts include:
- Natural England, the government’s scientific advisor on the natural environment, with an important job fighting the loss of biodiversity, faces the largest cut, from £197.1 million in 2010/11 to £155.1 million in 2014/15 – 21 per cent.
- The National Parks and Broads authorities, will be cut by 13 per cent, from £53.6 to £46.6 million.
- British Waterways, responsible for our canals and many rivers and docks, faces a 19 per cent cut, from £48 to £39 million.
- It is rather harder to work out what will happen to the Environment Agency, the allocation states that the budget for its flood management work has not been completely decided yet, but the average for the next 4 years will be £540 million (almost certainly less at the end of that period than at the start) which will be 8 per cent less than the average for the last 4 years – and much bigger decline from this year’s total of £629 million.