Institute of Physics comments on George Osborne’s speech at the Royal Society

9 November 2012

Paul Hardaker, Institute of Physics (IOP) Chief Executive, has commented on a speech made today by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, at the Royal Society, London.

George Osborne at the Royal Institution

He said: “It is really encouraging to know that the Chancellor of the Exchequer recognises the central role that science can play in creating robust economic growth for the UK. The proposed framework for capital investment includes some key features that will be vital to keep this country at the forefront of innovation and research.

“It is also very positive to see the commitment to a ring-fence for science funding and the important need for long-term stability in the level of financial support.

“But capital investment and a ring-fence for science is only one half of the picture. The Research Councils’ annual budgets have now been frozen for two years.  

We were very grateful to the Government for a flat cash settlement for science in 2010. But the longer funding is held flat while the real costs of research rise with inflation, the more the research community’s resources are eroded and we lose ground to international competitors who continue to realise the benefit of increased investment in their science base.”

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