Cameron Criticised On Flood Defence Spending
The boss of the country's biggest insurance firm, Legal & General, has told Sky News he is concerned about a lack of spending on flood defences.
As the industry faces Government pressure to pay out quickly on the costs of the winter storms, Nigel†Wilson also spoke out against policy on home building in flood-prone areas.
He said: "We've had a housing policy that has encouraged too much building in flood plains area. And we've been on and on about this.
"There's an issue in the UK. We're not building enough and where we're building them is in the wrong place.
"So we've got a multi-phased approach in actually increasing housing supply.
"The Government needs to focus much more attention on housing supply and where that supply is."
He was speaking hours after David Cameron's boast that flood defence spending will increase under his leadership was contradicted by the UK's statistics watchdog, which claimed the budget had actually been cut by £250m.
Sir Andrew Dilnot, head of the UK Statistics Authority, called on the Government to publish its real-term figures "in the public interest."
Mr Cameron claimed at Prime Minister's Questions that spending between 2011 and 2015 would be higher than in the previous four years under Labour.
But Labour leader Ed Miliband accused him of using "phoney figures".
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson went further, saying the Government is "providing more than any previous government in this spending review".
The discrepancy stems from the Government including money spent by private firms and other third parties in its figures.
Flood defence spending was £2.37bn between 2007 and 2011, according to House of Commons library figures.
Between 2011 and 2015 it will be £2.34bn - a £247m cut in real terms.
Sir Andrew believes the House of Commons numbers are more credible than those being stated by Mr Cameron and his colleagues.
He said: "We agree with their finding that, as of January 2014, government funding for flood defences was expected to be lower in both nominal and real terms during the current spending period than during the last spending period.
"Our analysis also supports the conclusion that the statement 'over the current spending review period, more is being spent than ever before' is supported by the statistics if the comparison is made in nominal terms and includes external funding, but is not supported by the statistics if the comparison is made in real terms or if external funding is excluded."
Labour and Friends of the Earth say the cuts contributed to the damage endured across swathes of the country this winter - and the issue will be debated by MPs on Wednesday.
Mr Paterson has already apologised for "any offence" caused by his flood defence spending claims, but denied there had been any "manipulation of figures".
A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: "Figures on flood defence spending are published. The Government is spending £2.4bn on flood management and protection from coastal erosion which is more than ever before.
"The Prime Minister also recently announced £130m extra for flood defence repairs following the extreme weather."
All this comes as the Institution of Civil Engineers called on Chancellor George Osborne to use next month's† Budget to return spending on flood risk management to pre-2010 levels.
:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.