IT is too soon to assess the cost of flooding to Oxford in early January, a minister has told Oxford East Labour MP Andrew Smith.

In a written question in Parliament, Mr Smith asked Chancellor George Osborne to estimate the cost to the economy of the recent flooding in the Oxford area.

The minister for water, forestry, rural affairs and resource management Dan Rogerson replied that it was too soon to evaluate the economic impact.

He said: “Any economic assessment would be at a national scale rather than by location.

“The department will consider any evidence relating to local impacts.”

Oxford West and Abingdon Tory MP Nicola Blackwood asked Environment Secretary Owen Paterson MP about flood insurance in another Commons question.

She asked what steps he is taking to ensure that flood insurance is affordable and prevent premiums from rising too much until the Flood Re scheme comes into force.

This scheme will see the insurance industry reimburse insurance firms for flood payouts in high risk areas.

This would be funded by an industry levy set up by The Water Bill, currently in the House of Lords.

Mr Rogerson replied: “The proposed approach, known as Flood Re, would effectively limit the amount that most UK households should pay for flood insurance to ensure that people can continue to access affordable home insurance.”