What is the Government doing to help flood victims in the UK?
The floods might have given Government ministers plenty of photo opportunities while standing in flood waters in their wellington boots, and the prime minister might have pledged the “Whatever it takes, money will not be the object", but what is the government really doing to help flood victims in the UK? With even more storms on the way action is needed urgently.
A number of new measures have been announced by David Cameron that will help homes, businesses and farmers.
Help for homeowners
- The government is making a £5,000 grant available for all homeowners affected by floods. The grant provides financial support to top up insurance payments in order make the property more able to withstand flooding in the future.
Help for businesses
- The £5,000 grant described above is also available for small to medium sized business.
- The government has also announced a £10 million business support scheme. This is being made available to SMEs that have been flooded and those in areas that have been affected by floods and, as a consequence, are suffering significantly reduced trade. The money will be provided to help fund the costs of immediate clean-up and other costs that will help keep the business trading.
- Affected businesses will be able to claim tax relief for three months as well as an additional three months to pay business taxes owed to HMRC.
- Additional measures include allowing additional time for businesses in affected areas to file their accounts at Companies House.
Help for farmers
- Help from banks - Major banks have pledged £750 million to support flood affected business and individual customers.
- Transport support in the south west includes reduced rail fares and a £5 reduction on air fares for domestic flights from Newquay.
You have insurance - If you are affected by floods and you are insured, it is important that you inform your buildings and contents insurers as quickly as possible. They will then send a loss adjuster to your property to examine the damage and confirm what is covered by your policy. It is also advisable to take photographic records of the flood and subsequent damage.
You aren’t insured – Even if you don’t have buildings and contents insurance, you might still be able to receive help. You should contact your local council which will be able to inform you of any charities and hardship grants that could help you.
If you rent your home then you should contact your agent or landlord who will have buildings insurance and should contact your contents insurer as soon as possible.
The new low tariff flood support helpline is: 0345 9881188.
For businesses there is a support helpline which is tariff free for the first hour on 0300 456 3565.
We will inform you here of any additional government measures as well as providing details of how to make a claim once they have been announced.
More information about what to do in the event of flooding can also be found on the Environment Agency website.