UK’s emergency budget presented by the coalition government has announced plans for cuts in public spending to the tune of 25 per cent to 40 per cent and also an increase in taxes. The aim behind the cut is to strengthen the UK treasury and trim the budget of government departments.
The cut will have a major impact on the science budget but it is too premature to declare how big and to what extent the cut will impact the science budget. The questions are open for guess work but an explicit answer will be available not until the government announces its comprehensive spending review on 20th October.
However, many sectors has already raised their concern on the cuts and said stable public spending, and not a spending cut is required to encourage private sector Research and development. It is essential to maintains UK’s competitive edge and prepare tomorrows technology driven UK economy.
With cut up to 25 per cent the research and development activities have a hard way ahead and it will impact not only private sectors but also the government departments involved in research and development activities. It will have an overall impact on the growth of technology and science in UK. It is commented that if UK do not maintain the investment in the field of science and technology to retain the economic competitive advantage. If such investments are cut, UK will lose its competitive edge to countries like France, Germany, The United States, India and China.
If the government is adamant on cuts than it should have plans to sustain the development activities and promote science and technology. The government is yet to reveal detailed plans on how it strives to achieve growth when at the same time it is going for cuts on public spending.