At @SciTechgovuk Qs, I asked the SoS if the Tories were counting Horizon replacement money as new British science spending.
She didn't know the answer.
But whilst the Tories cook the books on science our regional powerhouses miss out.
It's not levelling up, it’s holding back! pic.twitter.com/H6YgzziFtE
— Chi Onwurah ???? (@ChiOnwurah) May 3, 2023
I welcome the Secretary of State to her position and wish the right hon. Member for Chippenham (Michelle Donelan) well in her maternity leave.
Three years on, the Tories have failed in their manifesto promise to associate to Horizon Europe, and Britain has paid the price in lost jobs and scientific research. Their plan B short-changes British scientists and they are fudging the figures in other ways. Will the Secretary of State confirm that, whereas Horizon funding was counted as international science spend, she is planning to count the same money as British science spend to meet her commitment to double the British science budget? [Interruption.]
It seems that the Tory science superpower is actually just cooking the books. Ministers promised to increase science spend outside London and the south-east by a third while doubling it overall, so our regions continue to miss out. Now they are refusing to replace European regional development science funding, slashing £600 million from what should be our regional powerhouses. That is not levelling up—it is holding us back. The country knows it. Does the Secretary of State?