Chancellor Sajid Javid has pledged a 3.3% increase in funding for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) through today’s government spending round.
The increase means that the Department’s resource budget from 2019 through to 2021 will increase from £1.9 billion to £2 billion.
The extra funding comes following years of funding cuts for Defra, and will be welcomed given the resources needed to deliver the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, as well as preparations for the UK’s exit from the EU.
Defra is seen as one of the Departments most affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and consequently the Treasury has shored up its coffers with a separate £432 million in ‘Brexit funding’.
This will, according to the Treasury, help to “deliver a safe and ambitious departure from the European Union while setting global standards in protecting and harnessing value from the natural environment.”
Government also said that the additional funding would help to deliver the government’s commitment to pass on to the next generation a ‘natural environment protected and enhanced for the future.’
Specific policy areas to receive direct funding include a £30 million increase for work to improve air quality, £30 million for biodiversity and £8 million for animal health.
“A healthy environment is a precondition for a healthy population – that’s why we’ve set out an ambitious 25-year plan for the UK’s natural environment.”
Unveiling his spending round in Parliament today, the Chancellor Sajid Javid, said: “A healthy environment is a precondition for a healthy population – that’s why we’ve set out an ambitious 25-year plan for the UK’s natural environment.
“And we go further today. Leaving the EU provides an opportunity to set world leading environmental standards, and we’re giving Defra £432 million of funding to do so.”
The Chancellor also announced that extra funding would be given to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to develop new programmes to meet the government’s commitment for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“We’ll set out further details of our plans for decarbonisation in the infrastructure strategy later this year. Keeping our promise to be the first government in history to leave our environment in a better condition than we found it,” Mr Javid said.