The government’s €9.39 billion increase in spending on research and higher education over the period 2007-2012 was in line with President Sarkozy’s promise to support the sector, the higher education and research minister said on 28 September.
Presenting the 2012 budget for research and higher education, Laurent Wauquier said the overall increase in spending from 2009 was 1.4 per cent.
The growth came from a 0.5 per cent increase in the private research budget and a 2.9 per cent increase in support for public research.
Bertrand Monthubert, the Socialist Party’s education and research spokesman, told Research Europe Today that the rise was partly due to the inclusion of expenditure in areas previously excluded from the budget. He said the figure also included the cost of pensions for retired researchers, which was not money available for research.
He suggested these accounting procedures might have accounted for up to two-third of the budgeted increase.