Environment Agency Blames Treasury Rules For Somerset Flooding

The Environment Agency (EA) head today effectively blamed Treasury rules for the Somerset flooding. The Treasury is the nearest ordinary taxpayers get to a department looking after their interests. So as a tax barrister I was surprised at the attack on the Treasury which I feel amounts to an attack on the taxpayer. The EA said Treasury rules required a return of £8 damage saved for every £1 spent on flood defences. Seems a reasonable ratio to me. So maybe vital work wasn’t done because the EA got its sums wrong. The interviewer also pointed out to the EA that they had said before that dredging wasn’t so critical and an earlier EA report seemed to envisage allowing flooding of some sort. So there are three versions of what went wrong. The ordinary EA staff are working hard and trying their best, but EA management trying to shift the blame doesn’t help.

Eamon McNicholas
Tax Barrister, Accountant

About Eamon McNicholas

Tax Barrister, Accountant www.EamonMcNicholas.com
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