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Looking ahead to the Spring Statement 2019

12 Mar 2019

Ahead of tomorrow’s Spring Statement, we assess the state of play in UK R&D

This year’s Spring Statement is shrouded in more uncertainty than any fiscal event in recent years. Following on from the most recent ‘meaningful vote’ is going to be difficult but we want to make sure that the Government does not lose sight of its pledge to increase R&D investment in the UK. We believe that to counter the uncertainty caused by the wider Brexit debate, the Government can use the Spring Statement to send a powerful message that it means business in supporting research and innovation in the UK.

We have previously made a projection to show what would be required in order to reach the Government’s target to increase investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. We encourage the Chancellor to set out a long-term plan for R&D investment tomorrow. It is no secret that a huge increase in public investment is required to help meet the target, while a long term plan for public investment can build business confidence that the UK is the place to invest. The Government’s R&D target is a vision that is shared by all major political parties. R&D can be a central actor in improving lives, creating better jobs and supporting the environment. We will be analysing the Spring Statement tomorrow to see what the announcements mean for science and engineering.

To read more about our work on R&D investment, read some recent blog posts here and here.

Update: You can read our response to the Spring Statement here.