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Monday, February 03, 2014

Environment Agency "Has no Bottomless Purse" To Do Its Job But Spends 30 Times More On Itself

       With the English floods and the way the Environmental Protection Agency, by letting the rivers go undrained, are responsible, John Redwood has come up with some fascinating and relevant information:

The Environment Agency last year received a £723m grant from the taxpayer and spent in total £1207m, the rest paid for by charges.

The staff costs of the Agency rose by £30m or 8% compared to the previous year, reaching a total of £395.3 million. The Agency employed 12,252 people including  temps and contractor personnel.

 Pension contributions cost £56 m , with a loss on the fund recognised that year in the accounts bringing the total pension cost to £197.4 million.  The total cost of pensions was almost as high as the capital works, where they spent £219million during the year.

Within the capital works just £20.3 million was spent on improving or maintaining culverts and channels to ensure free flow of water. That is a mere 1.7% of their total budget, or 3.4% of their staff and pension costs. A further £69.6m was spent on improving embankments.

.... There does not seem to have been any attempt to remove the Labour Chairman, and he has clearly not made sufficient attempt to get value for money nor to ensure the Agency’s priorities are our priorities – There is no evidence here to support Labour Lady Morgan’s claims.
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Meanwhile the BBC and others are pushing this from the EPA's boss trying to raise a Town V Country scare to get them more money:

There is "no bottomless purse" for flood defences and "difficult but sensible choices about where and what to protect" must be made, the head of the Environment Agency has said.

Chairman Lord Smith, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said "tricky questions" included "town or country, front rooms or farmland"?

Coastal towns in south-west England have been left flooded....

The Environment Agency, which covers England, has been accused of failing to dredge rivers in order to protect the Somerset Levels, which have been badly hit by flooding in recent weeks.

Villages such as Muchelney have been cut off for almost a month and about 11,500 hectares (28,420 acres) of the Levels are flooded.

Dredging normally refers to increasing the depth of the river channel by removing silt that builds up over years....

There is "no bottomless purse" for flood defences and "difficult but sensible choices about where and what to protect" must be made, the head of the Environment Agency has said.

Chairman Lord Smith, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said "tricky questions" included "town or country, front rooms or farmland"?

Coastal towns in south-west England have been left flooded.

The Environment Agency, which covers England, has been accused of failing to dredge rivers in order to protect the Somerset Levels, which have been badly hit by flooding in recent weeks.

Villages such as Muchelney have been cut off for almost a month and about 11,500 hectares (28,420 acres) of the Levels are flooded.

Dredging normally refers to increasing the depth of the river channel by removing silt that builds up over years.

(No mention of the EPA official who said she wanted to put "a limpet mine on every pumping station" to help return farmer's land to the sea)
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    Clearly if only 1.7% of their budget goes into doing maintaining the flood defences, something the previous agency did without all that money, while £593.7 (49%) goes directly on salaries and pension provision)  Lord Smith is lying about there having been any slightest attempt to put the bottom of the purse towards doing his job. Clearly a statement that could never have been made had his Lordship not been a wholly corrupt, thieving, parasite. Even more clearly the decision to promote Smith's lies while also censoring the truth about the money is not something that the BBC could do if its coverage was "balanced" as the law requires, indeed if they were not corrupt thieving totalitarian fascists.

    I have written to the press saying that the true figures should get proper coverage and as a UKIP candidate, expressing my regard for Mr Redwood. If it is sufficiently newsworthy to be published I will let you know.

     "The primary purpose of government programmes is to pay government employees and their friends, the nominal purpose is secondary, at best" - Pournelle

      Clearly they have not even approached secondary. I commented:

That is horrible and you have done a public service John by bringing it to public attention. Not the sort of news the state funded “balanced by law” BBC propagandists would ever announce – they recently decried a mere 1500 cut by saying the EPA were fighting the floods (when in truth they were causing them).

Normally I am in favour of cutting parasitic government departments by 90% but looking at these figures it seem that would still leave a lot of waste – indeed a lot of negative value.
Close the entire organisation. Anything useful they do can be transferred to other departments (along with such staff, if any, as they want, will pay for & will guarantee to be worth having.

PS I will also sometime do something about the way in which quango staff get chosen for their political connections and how, by looking at the connections, we see the 3 approved parties working as a cartel.

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