Chi Onwurah, Labour’s shadow science and innovation minister has called the chancellor’s 9 November speech to the Royal Society an “ad hoc announcement”. She pointed out that the government’s departmental science spending fell “by 7.6 per cent in the first year of this Parliament alone and total spending on science last year is down by 6.4 per cent”.
“If the reduction continues at this rate, science spending will be down by a quarter over the life of the Parliament,” she added in a statement. “Ministers have torn up Labour’s long term plan and framework for science, which has created huge uncertainty for the sector and put our world-beating position at risk. Today’s ad hoc announcement does not address this. The government urgently needs to come clean and make its intentions on science funding clear to reassure the sector and provide certainty for investment.”