Onwurah: Ministers have broken their promises on science spending

Chi has commented on new research published by the House of Commons Library has revealed that Departments across Whitehall cut their research budgets by 7.6% despite a Government commitment to protect public investment in science.

The story was reported on the Guardian website today, following publication of the research which was commissioned by Chi, who said: 

“Despite promising to protect science spending, which plays a vital role in securing future economic growth, this new research makes it clear that ministers are in fact cutting science spending across Whitehall, and are putting our world-beating position in science and innovation at risk.

 “The government has abandoned Labour’s long term framework for investment in science, undermining confidence and creating uncertainty in industry and universities.”

 The research is available here.


The research includes investment announced in the spending review and all subsequent funding commitments from government as of November 7th, including departmental R&D spending.

In the 2010 spending review, the Government promised to protect science spending. Research from the House of Commons Library undermined this when it revealed a 14% cut to budgets.

The UK is almost alone amongst its international competitors in cutting research. Developed and developing countries around the world – even those with austerity programmes – are increasing research budgets in a bid to boost growth and jobs.

Newly re-elected President Obama proposed a budget to double research budgets of three key science agencies and increase nondefense research and development overall by 5 percent. [source]

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