Budget’s £5billion for flood zones after Britain battered by devastating storms

Flood defences will get a £5.2billion boost to protect 330,000 homes.

The move, which will fund 2,000 coastal defence schemes, will be ­announced in Wednesday’s Budget.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is also set to unveil a £200million resilience fund for areas prone to frequent flooding.

A Whitehall source said: “We will be spending a lot more money in the North East, North West and Yorkshire.”

But Government claims of “levelling up” spending in the North have been trashed by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

A report due to be published on the same day as the Budget criticises delaying the £100billion National Infrastructure Strategy, which had been seen as crucial when it came to re-balancing the economy.

  • Thousands of families dispute Universal Credit failures each month – and win

  • Len McCluskey rumoured to be quitting Unite – setting stage for leadership battle

Labour ’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the move was a “betrayal” of voters who backed the Tories at the General Election.

A milkshake tax to combat obesity and a crackdown on tax ­dodgers are among other measures expected to be revealed in the Budget.

The Government’s own financial watchdog is set to hole Boris Johnson ’s Budget below the water line.

The Office for Budget Responsibility has prepared a report demolishing claims of an economic “Boris bounce” and trashing promises of a “levelling up” to help the north.

The report follows the Treasury cancellation of a promised £100billion National Infrastructure Strategy, which had been seen as crucial to the Government’s plan to re-balance the economy in favour of the Midlands and the north.

In another blow, it will reveal that the Government’s tougher immigration restrictions – introduced by Home Secretary Priti Patel – will also limit growth.

Sajid Javid revealed he would have cut 2p off income tax had he not walked out as Chancellor in last month’s reshuffle.

But the potentially dire economic effects of coronavirus leave Mr Sunak with little room for manoeuvre.

Iain McCluskey of accountants PwC said: “He’s likely to avoid tinkering too much with personal taxes.”

Several towns were swamped by floodwater after Britain was hit by storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge in recent weeks.

Source: Read Full Article