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Peers slam Government science funding cuts

Friday 26 March 2021

 

Funding cuts are “a major threat to scientific research in the UK”, Lords say in new letter to PM.

Writing separately to both Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, the Lords Science and Technology Committee raises a number of stark concerns over a science funding crisis.

The letters state that cuts will have “deep and lasting effects”. This includes significant job losses and inhibiting economic development.

The letters point out that cuts undermine the government’s ambition for the UK as a “science superpower” as well as its levelling-up agenda, as the UK will lag behind other countries.

The committee asks that funding for association with Horizon Europe does not come out of existing Research & Development budgets and urge for support and scientific collaborations with developing countries. They strongly recommend the government recommits £22 billion per year on R&D by 2024/25. They also call call to overturn the heavy funding losses experienced by medical research charities, during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Commenting on the letters, Lord Patel, Committee Chair, said:

“UK science research is facing multiple funding crises that threaten to undermine key policy ambitions at home and abroad. We urge the government to ensure that research and development is fully supported, in order to deliver scientific and technical advances, protect skilled jobs, support economic growth, and maintain the UK’s international standing.”

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