Defra one of biggest losers in spending review

27th June 2013

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Generation



The environment department's annual budget has been slashed by 9.6%, one of the biggest cuts seen in the chancellor's review of government spending

Defra’s budget in 2015/16 will be £100 million lower than in 2014/15 the Treasury has confirmed, with £54 million of savings expected to be generated through “better joint working” between the department’s bodies, which include the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Forestry Commission.

In his speech announcing the results of the latest spending review, the chancellor said that the government would set out plans for a “major commitment to new flood defences”, however, documents from the Treasury confirm that Defra’s budget for investing in new defences will remain the same in “cash terms”, resulting in real term cut when inflation is factored in.

The energy and climate change department, meanwhile, has had its year-on-year budgets cut by 8% in real terms. The department is expected to save more than £80 million in administration savings through “efficiencies”, such as replacing IT systems and by reducing the costs associated with bodies such as the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Treasury documents confirm that Decc will, however, be able to generate £5.3 billion from levies on energy bills to finance policies, including subsidies for renewables, and that the funds for the Renewable Heat Incentive are to be increased by £6 million, to £430 million in 2015/16 in a bid to boost lacklustre uptake.

However, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) warned that the cash injection was far below what was needed to meet the UK’s carbon reduction targets. According to the REA, spending on renewable heat technologies needs to double every year in the early years to meet necessary deployment levels, which means a budget of £800 million was needed in 2015/16.

“It is important that the UK meets its renewables target in the most cost-effective way possible. Heating from biomass is one of the cheapest means of doing this. This poor settlement, coupled with next week’s tariff reductions for medium scale biomass installations, sends a very bad message over the government’s long term support for this sector,” commented REA’s chief executive Gaynor Hartnell.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Latest environmental legislation round-up

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Dr Julie Riggs issues a call to arms to tackle a modern-day human tragedy

15th March 2024

Read more

The UK’s new biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements could create 15,000 hectares of woodlands, heath, grasslands, and wetlands and absorb 650,000 tonnes of carbon each year.

13th March 2024

Read more

Campaign group Wild Justice has accused the UK government of trying to relax pollution rules for housebuilders “through the backdoor”.

14th February 2024

Read more

Digital tracking, packaging data delays and new collections provide a waste focus for this edition’s environmental round-up by legislation expert Neil Howe

28th November 2023

Read more

Environmental crimes could result in prison sentences of up to 10 years and company fines of 5% of turnover under a proposed EU law agreed by the European parliament and council.

21st November 2023

Read more

Stuart McLachlan and Dean Sanders discuss their book: The Adventure of Sustainable Performance: Beyond ESG Compliance to Leadership in the New Era.

14th November 2023

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close