Is that the high-pitched whine of rent-seeking that I hear? The government has the audacity to suggest that householders in flood-prone areas pony up for their own flood defences and this doesn't go down too well with the householders in question:
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has also released a report at the conference that argues against insurers pricing out flood-hit households purely based on risk [my emphasis] and calls for further government interventionIf insurers are not pricing purely based on risk, my friends, then they are not actually providing insurance. They're either penalising or (in this case) subsidising the affected households. And since the insurers aren't going to eat the cost of that extra subsidy, it's going to come from householders that were sensible enough not to buy a house in a flood-prone area...
The rent-seekers are out in force:
Charles Tucker, chairman of the National Flood Forum, the charity running the conference, said: "We believe this gives overwhelming weight to the case for government to step up to the plate to ensure that the market in flood insurance is fair and equitable.If householders pay according to the actual risk of flood damage, that seems pretty fair to me. Now what do you mean by 'equitable', Charles? I think you mean "we want Government cash". And since governments don't have any money themselves, this is actually taxpayer cash.
I would be in favour, however, of sticking the bill for flood damage to recently built homes on a combination of the builders who built in a flood risk area and the surveyors who said it was OK. I give you, for instance, all the homes around Tewkesbury and Evesham which went under water; the area floods annually, so flooding risk should at least have been on the builders' radar:
A handful of those I meet recount a telling anecdote about a new housing development in the nearby village of Mitton which was originally called the Water Meadows; in the wake of the floods, they say, the word "water" disappeared from the signs for it.But caveat emptor: if you buy a house in a flood-prone area, it's up to you to mitigate or pay for the flood risk. The Government is merely taking a principled stance on the matter. I may have to have a lie-down.