Iain Dale clashes with Lib Dem candidate over government's response to floods

13 November 2019, 07:47

A Liberal Democrat candidate was forced to welcome the government's emergency response to the northern floods after Iain Dale pointed out a few facts to her.

The government announced that an extra 100 troops will be deployed to south Yorkshire to cope with the flooding recovery, along with a communities grant of £500 per household and business grant of £2,500 per small or medium sized business.

Wera Hobhouse started by criticising the fact that the Conservatives were making promises on how they could help those villages and towns affected by severe flooding - without saying where that money was coming from.

But during a tetchy exchange, when Iain pointed out that the cash would be from the emergency contingency reserve, Ms Hobhouse had to back the move.

Speaking on LBC, she had said: "In the last few weeks, the UK government has announced a lot of things that remind me of the magic money tree and they have not said where it's come from."

Iain fired back: "How can you possibly say that given that you've just announced £5billion without saying where that's going to come from?"

Iain Dale clashed with Lib Dem Wera Hobhouse over the flooding response
Iain Dale clashed with Lib Dem Wera Hobhouse over the flooding response. Picture: PA / LBC

Ms Hobhouse clarified: "We say exactly where that's coming from. It's coming from infrastructure spending and that comes from borrowing.

"I would welcome this announcement if the government would then tell us where it comes from. Is it from borrowing? Is it from tax increases?"

Iain pointed out: "Providing 100 troops and £500 per household isn't going to increase the public sector borrowing requirement by a huge amount, is it?

"You do know that for emergencies, the government has a contingency reserve, so it's not actually eating into any budget other than the emergency contingency."

Ms Hobhouse admitted: "OK, so it's coming from the emergency contingency. I welcome that spending if that's what's going to happen."

Watch the fiery exchange at the top of the page.