Fall in Defra air quality spending in 2013/14

Defra’s spending on improving air quality fell below £10 million last year, while there was a £2 million reduction in its Air Quality Grant

The money spent by Defra on improving air quality fell below £10 million last year, according to figures announced by the Department yesterday (November 27).

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it spent £9,958,000 on improving air quality in 2013/14, a reduction from the £10,131,000 spent the previous year and £10,947,000 spent in 2011/12.

Defra's Nobel House headquarters in London

Defra’s Nobel House headquarters in London

The evidence expenditure includes money spent on air quality monitoring as well as research work to gather evidence and develop methodologies for assessing and improving air quality.

In addition, Defra’s Air Quality Grant programme, which supports work by local authorities to improve local air quality, was backed by £1 million last year, while the total money allocated to the grant programme the year before was more than £3 million.

In 2014/15, the £1 million programme will focus on council projects to tackle nitrogen dioxide levels and road transport emissions, with only councils that have exceeded limits for NO2 in their areas eligible to submit their bids for funding (see story). It has awarded more than £52 million in finding council projects aimed at tackling air pollution since 1997.

The expenditure figures were revealed by Defra minister Dan Rogerson MP in response to a written question in parliament from shadow Defra minister and Labour MP for Garston and Halewood, Maria Eagle.

She had asked Mr Rogerson how much his Department had spent on reducing nitrogen dioxide and improving air quality in each year since 2010/11.

Defra expenditure on air quality improvements

Financial year Evidence Air Quality Grant
2010/11 £10,964,000 £2,361,000
2011/12 £10,947,000 £3,078,745
2012/13 £10,131,000 £3,100,000
2013/14 £9,958,000 £1,000,000


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