Chi Onwurah MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Innovation and Science, commenting on David Willetts’ speech on science today, said:
“Britain is a leading scientific nation: we have a world-beating position in science but we are in danger of losing it. It is the decisions of this out of touch Government and its refusal to put in place a long-term investment plan for science that threatens to damage our position.
“In their 20 months in power, ministers have made the wrong decisions for the long term future of science in Britain: they dismantled the RDAs without an effective replacement, scrapped Labour’s long-term research investment framework, cut investment in research and have weakened the Office for Life Sciences.
“We welcome efforts to encourage more private investment in research including Labour’s R&D tax credits and strengthening institutions like the Technology Strategy Board, but today’s announcement underlines the Government’s failure so far to support science in the UK, which will be critical to the future of our economy. Today David Willetts claimed that George Osborne’s investment in science capital facilities showed his understanding of the importance of scientific research to our economy, but it was George Osborne who cut it by 40 per cent in his first budget.”