The Chancellor’s Spending Review showed that Defra was escaping bug cuts in its overall expenditure, but more money was likely to be allocated to other priorities rather than resource efficiency.
Defra’s Resource Budget (day to day spending) will increase from £1.5 billion in 2015-16 to £1.7 billion in 2016-17, then ease to £1.6 billion in 2017-18 and £1.5 billion in 2018-19, but then falls to £1.4 billion in 2019-20.
The capital budget will increase from £0.5 billion in 2015-16 to £0.6 billion for the next three years before falling back down to £0.5 billion.
However, with £2.3 billion required for investment in flood defences over this period, and £3 billion investment in England’s countryside, this means that these funding programmes will take priority in Defra’s budget.
Defra will need to save £123 million by 2019-20 from its administration budget, reducing it by 26%.
The Spending Review also confirmed reform of the Landfill Communities Fund with it set at £39.3 million for 2016-17. The cap on contributions by landfill operators has also been amended by 4.2%.
But an additional £20 million of Landfill Tax revenues will be allocated to the Environment Agency to address waste crime over the next five years.