DEFRA biodiversity budget slashed as overall funding rises 11%

A Treasury document has revealed that DEFRA’s budget is £2,157m this financial year, up £213m, but funding for biodiversity work has been halved.

The figure, an increase of 11%, is for day-to-day spending by the department, known as resource departmental expenditure limit (DEL) in government parlance. 

Most of the increase is not associated with any increase in investment in environmental protection but is swallowed instead by greater administrative costs, the result of Brexit preparations. The amount allocated to officials’ salaries and other administrative costs has risen to £794m, up from £590m in £2018/19, following a huge recruitment drive. This itself was an increase from the lowpoint of austerity, when the department had only £453m allocated.

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