Insurers will come under pressure to make timely payouts to flood-damaged families and businesses, the prime minister pledged yesterday as waters continued to rise. Financial Times

In the Commons, Gordon Brown said £46m would be made available to flood-hit councils immediately and promised local authorities would receive 100% compensation. The prime minister also announced annual spending on flood protection would rise to £800m by 2010/11.

Chancellor Alastair Darling said businesses and people affected by the floods would be given extra time to pay taxes and that interest and surcharges on late payments would be waived.