Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Monday, 17 February 2014

The Cost of the Floods - plus VAT !

 It is difficult to find figures about the cost of the floods, mainly because public and private costs are invariably lumped together to give an overall figure.
The BBC has a very interesting report in which it says that
"Severe flooding in the UK is not unusual."
and adds
"In 2007 there was extensive damage in several urban areas including Hull and Tewkesbury. The insurance bill for this year's flooding could well end up a lot lower than the payouts required seven years ago.
"Between May and July 2007, England and Wales experienced the wettest conditions in 200 years. Nearly 50,000 households were affected"
This is an interesting statement because it rather contradicts the Green's arguments about climate change, as the recent floods are clearly not the worse floods that the country has experienced.
The 2007 summer floods gave rise to payouts of about £3billion.
"According to the insurer Hiscox, the latest floods could, if they continue for a couple more weeks, result in payouts of about £1bn. This would still be well short of the claims seven years ago."
These figures don't, of course, represent the total overall cost of the floods and won't include the cost of repairs to our infrastructure, such as the damage to the railways as at Dawlish, and the repair of flood defences. Nor, of course does it include the costs of flood prevention measures, belatedly being put in place by the military.

However, the Treasury doesn't come out of this too badly. VAT is payable on building repairs and replacement contents. Based on Hiscox's figures this would come to around £200 million, which should easily pay for Cameron's "No efforts will be spared . . . . . . " and even leave enough to cover the costs of dredging the rivers in Somerset.

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