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CaSE analysis of parties’ commitments for science and engineering

07 Apr 2015

CaSE has today published its analysis of the science and engineering policies of all the main political parties. Bringing together manifestos, speeches, letters from the party leaders, and blogs by parliamentary candidates, the analysis provides the most comprehensive view yet of what each party thinks about science and engineering.

The analysis finds significant differences between all the major parties in the key policy areas of investment, education and skills, and how they will use science and engineering in government. 

CaSE’s briefing received coverage in today’s Guardian election editorial on science.

However, despite highlighting the value of science and engineering, neither of the two parties likely to lead the next government has committed to investing more in this economically-vital area. Their reluctance leaves the parties open to criticism that they are missing a clear opportunity to invest for growth.

CaSE Acting Director, Naomi Weir said:

In an election debate dominated by the deficit, I’ve had to strain my ears to pick up on proposals to tackle stagnant productivity and boost the economy over the long-term. To deliver on their promises to the public and deal with the deficit, whoever moves in to number 10 will have to get serious about growth. And that means getting serious about science.

Research commissioned by CaSE and published last year, found that every pound of public investment in R&D boosts private sector productivity by 20p each year in perpetuity. This research builds on the strong and growing evidence that public investment in science and engineering yields high returns for both the economy and society.

CaSE Acting Director, Naomi Weir said:

The potential for science and engineering to benefit the long-term health of the UK economy, and its citizens, is enormous. To do that, the next government must increase investment in R&D and develop joined-up policy for skills, both home-grown and from overseas. The manifestos do contain some good news for science and engineering but shy away from backing warm words with real investment.

At CaSE we look forward to working with the new Government, and all those taking their seat on the green benches, to ensure science and engineering can thrive, for everyone’s benefit.

In the run-up to the General Election, CaSE wrote to all the party leaders asking them to set out their policies for science and engineering and invited parliamentary candidates to write blogs for the CaSE website setting out their personal views. All the major parties responded and over 50 parliamentary candidates have had their blogs published. CaSE also compiled a list of candidates to watch.

You can view all of CaSE’s election work here.