You are here

Earlier today, the Chancellor presented the 2024 Spring Budget, setting out Government’s spending commitments for the year ahead. The Royal Society of Biology is disappointed by the announcements which failed to deliver on the promise to spend £20 billion on R&D in 2024-25.

Whilst we welcome the proposed £45 million investment in medical research, we would wish for the breadth of the life sciences to be recognised and supported. Biotechnology, agriculture, plant, and animal science are a few of the disciplines that are part of the research and innovation landscape and are central to addressing some of the most pressing global challenges that we are currently facing.

Westminster Shutterstock

The RSB Spring Budget 2024 representation called on the government to set a new, higher R&D investment target, on par with leading nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). By not doing so today, the UK missed an opportunity to demonstrate its ambition to cement its status as a scientific superpower.

Additionally, we highlighted that R&D expenditure alone will not achieve maximum benefit for cost if not coupled with incentives to support the research workforce. For our science sector to thrive and contribute to the creation of economic progress and societal benefits, it is imperative to address education and skills provision challenges, alongside fostering mobility and international collaborations.

The £120 million support for green technologies, such as offshore windfarms, is a welcomed step towards developing solutions to adapt to and mitigate climate change. However, such efforts should not be undermined by energy security policies that are likely to increase greenhouse gas emissions. Government must prioritise addressing the unfolding climate and nature emergency through stronger commitments.