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Prime Minister David Cameron said:
Britain is facing some of the worst flooding in decades following the wettest winter in 2 and a half centuries. Through the COBR mechanism, this government continues to take clear action across the board to ensure that everything that can be done is being done; whether that is extra pumps and sandbags, a commitment to dredging in Somerset, deploying the military to shore up flood defences and provide additional support for local emergency services. We are taking, and will continue to take whatever steps are necessary.
And today I have announced a comprehensive package of new measures to help-hardworking homes, businesses and farmers hit by these floods to get back on their feet with special grants for homeowners and businesses, business rate relief, a £10 million fund for farmers and a £750 million commitment from all the major banks to provide financial support. We are helping people who need help and protecting communities who need protecting, and as I said yesterday money is no object to help this flood relief effort.
In addition to the £130 million of increased flood funding already announced, the Prime Minister pledged new action to keep affected areas moving, including:
Patrick McLoughlin will chair urgent resilience meetings with the bus and coach operators to ensure that all necessary extra services are in place for the areas currently affected, and to plan for any further capacity required should the severe weather continue and affect other parts of the country.
The Prime Minister will continue to lead the national response by chairing meetings of the government’s emergency committee, COBR. To oversee the government’s wider policy response to the recovery, the Prime Minister has set up a new Cabinet Committee and will chair the first meeting on Thursday.
The £5,000 grant will provide financial support for households and businesses to pay for repairs which improve a property’s ability to withstand future flooding.
A total commitment in excess of £750 million from the major banks to provide financial support to business and individual customers affected by the floods.
The packages include a mixture of repayment holidays, reduced or waived fees, loan extensions, increased flexibility of terms, and additional specialist support teams deployed on the ground. This support is being made available to businesses, farmers and individual customers in affected areas.