RSC welcomes Lib Dem call for science budget increase

24 September 2012

The President of the Royal Society of Chemistry welcomed today's unanimous vote by the Liberal Democrats for an increase in the UK science budget.

At their party conference this morning, the Liberal Democrats backed a call by Julian Huppert MP for a cross-party agreement to secure an increase for investment in science at 3% above inflation each year for the next 15 years. 

Professor Lesley Yellowlees said: "The UK has a proud record of achievement in science, but at the last spending review the government effectively provided a flat cash settlement for science and cut capital spending by 40%. 

"Only 1.85% of UK GDP is spent on research and development, far behind other countries like the USA and Germany. If we want to remain a world leader in scientific research, brave decisions must be made at the next spending review that will match that ambition with investment.

"This is not just important for scientists; it is vital for the economy. New ideas turn into new businesses that could be the heartbeat of our economy and help us recover from recession.

"We welcome this new Liberal Democrat policy to ring-fence science spending and to provide certainty for the future. But it is a tough challenge to deliver. 

"We call on the other political parties to match this level of commitment at their conferences and show their dedication to securing a knowledge economy. 

"Science can deliver for Britain, but only if the political parties deliver for science."

Contact and Further Information

Victoria Steven
Media Relations Executive
Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BA
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7440 3322