As the scientific community raises pressure against the UK Government for the lack of scientific funding, BoE Chancellor George Osborne had given in, vowing that he would protect the scientific community’s funding from inflation and further cuts.
Osborne said the science resource budget would rise by £100,000 to £4.7 billion and will have it protected “in real terms” until the end of the Conservatory Parliament.
Total science spending will be £500 million higher than it was in 2015-16.
But scientists still say it isn’t enough.
The Science and Technology Committee urged Osborne to use the spending review to map out boosting public and private investment in science.
Osborne did not mention this report or committing 3% of GDP from 1.7% on scientific ventures.
This urged Nicola Blackwood, the Science and Technology Committee Chair to say Osborne’s vow is a farce.
“New science research facilities do not have the annual resources to run at capacity, because ‘batteries are not included’ with capital spending. This must be put right as a matter of urgency,” she said.
“If Britain wants to retain its status as a science superpower and compete at the cutting edge of science and tech, the Government must ultimately aspire to match the higher science investment of rivals like Germany and the US.
“Spending on science and innovation is not a state subsidy, it is a strategic investment that creates high value jobs, boosts productivity and attracts inward investment. Increasing science investment would supercharge our science base by attracting private sector R&D investment from industry, charities and overseas investors alike.”
However, she expressed pleasure to introduce inflation protection for the core science budget, but only 3% of the GDP would be enough to satisfy what the community needs.