Wellcome reaction to the Chancellor’s Budget and Spending Review

As part of the UK Government's 2021 Autumn Budget, it was announced that public investment in UK research & development (R&D) will reach £20 billion by 2024-25.

Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome, said:

“We welcome the Government’s ongoing commitment to making the UK a science superpower.

“The Chancellor made research a substantial part of his speech, reflecting the importance of science to our health and future prosperity. It is very encouraging to see substantial increases in Government spending on R&D over the next three years. The previous spending target of £22bn has been pushed back until after the next election, but the Government clearly understands it will need to continue to increase investment in science to catch up with other leading science nations. The UK’s investment in R&D as a proportion of GDP lags behind the OECD average and it will take time to change that.1

“The Government has also listened to the sector in specifying that the full costs of joining the EU’s Horizon research funding scheme will be met. I hope that the current impasse in finalising the UK's membership will be resolved quickly to give certainty to researchers. I also look forward to the UK returning to spending 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid as soon as possible.”

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