Labour is exaggerating the extent of government cuts to funding for flood defences, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has said.
As she answered an urgent question on the recent flooding in England on 25 June 2012, she dismissed accusations from her shadow counterpart that the cuts would amount to 30%.
Shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh said: "Communities that have been devastated by flooding should not have to go through that terrible experience again."
She urged ministers to reverse the cuts.
But Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said she did not accept that Labour's figures were accurate.
"You are not comparing like with like," she said.
"If we compared how the last government funded flood defences for the last four years it was in office with our commitment to fund flood defences for the four years which succeeded their loss of power, the reduction is just 6%.
"When you consider the mess your party left the government in, I think you will see that is no mean achievement."
The secretary of state added: "My thoughts go out to all those who suffered flooding, especially those in the worst-affected areas."
But she admitted: "In our changing climate we will never be able to completely prevent flooding, as we have seen this weekend and earlier in June."
Over 500 homes were flooded in Lancashire and West Yorkshire when a month's rain fell in 24 hours between 23 and 24 June.
Heavy rain also disrupted transport in south-west England.
Residents in Croston and Darwen, Lancashire, had to be evacuated from their homes when nearby rivers burst their banks.