UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a package of £40million in order to improve flood defences in areas hit by the Boxing Day deluge but many critics and analysts have called the amount extremely inadequate. The Government’s extension of the disaster fund was highly criticized as a drop in the ocean in light of the overall devastation wreaked on communities over the last few weeks.
In his remarks, Cameron stated that “I have seen at first-hand the devastation caused by flooding. And that’s why this work to repair and improve flood defences is so vital,” adding that “now more than £40m will be spent to fix those defences overwhelmed.” However on the other hand, Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Kerry McCarthy spoke against the announcement and stressed that “a lump sum of £40million is a sticking plaster approach and it won’t go very far at all.” He pointed out that “spending on flood defences rose under Labour, but there have been yearly cuts since 2010,” adding that “the Government has been woefully complacent about the flood risk, ignoring warnings from its own experts.”
Liberal Democrat leader and representative of the most flood-struck Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency, Tim Farron, alleged that the money earmarked for areas swamped by Storm Eva was too little too late. He stated that “time and time again, David Cameron offers warm words and a little bit of funding for a short-term fix,” adding that “the Government feigns interest while the media spotlight is on those communities. When the TV cameras have gone away and the water subsides, they lose interest.”
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