Over the past couple of weeks, the UK has faced some terrible flooding across, mainly, several parts of England. Apparently we have had the equivalent of 2 months rain within 2 days. In case you haven’t seen the pictures, click here. Fortunately, where I live hasn’t been directly affected. However, several towns close by have been including Doncaster, Sheffield and Hull. The worst hit seems to be Hull in which 16,000 (1 in 5) houses have been affected.
Now that the flood waters have subsided the huge cleanup task begins.
On the news last night, a lady from Hull was meeting her local MP (and ex-Deputy PM, John Prescott) together with the Floods Minister (I didn’t know we had one). Other than the obvious PR exercise, the MPs were apparently assessing the damage to then work out how to deal with it. However, the main gripe on the woman was that she didn’t have house insurance and therefore wanted the Government to put their hands in their pockets and start allocating money to people like her. She argued that we give billions of pounds to foreign countries for any number of reasons and now she felt that we were having a disaster and therefore we need the money within this country. Whilst I can see her point about foreign aid, I do have to take issue with her reasons for requesting money.
Home insurance, like any insurance is designed to protect against the unexpected (e.g. floods). You have to question people who don’t have home insurance. Houses are typically our most expensive purchase throughout our lives, so why wouldn’t you insure it? Its not like you can pop out and buy another with cash if it breaks (well most of us can’t). Why should the UK taxpayer fund her cleanup because she didn’t have insurance.
However, I do think that they Government has a part to play in such disasters as this. I categorically don’t think that they should be funding the cleanup for people who don’t have insurance. However, short term aid such as shelter, emergency clothing, food etc should be provided by the Government to enable people to get over the immediate disaster so that they can start putting their own plans in place for recovery.
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