A leading business group wants the government to prioritise innovation and science funding in next month’s comprehensive spending review (CSR).
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is today calling on the government to spend more than six times what it currently allocates to research and development (R&D), increasing provisions from 0.49 per cent of GDP to 3 per cent of annual growth.
The CBI argues that the increased spending will lead to a more productive economy, and cites figures showing that the UK comes last among its G8 counterparts when it comes to R&D spending.
CBI director-general John Cridland said: “While our economy is doing well, we must not be complacent, as we cannot afford to rest on our laurels while our peers pace ahead.”
“With the UK’s research and development spending the lowest among the G8, we are falling ever further behind our international competitors and must take action so that we lead from the front,” Cridland added.
Meanwhile, Policy Exchange, a centre-right think tank, is today calling on the government to redirect £500m from universities grant funding into further education budgets, in order to improve professional and technical education programmes.
Policy Exchange recommends that the Treasury diverts the money in the business, innovation and skills (BIS) department budget as part of the CSR.
Policy Exchange head of education Jonathan Simons said: “The case for training and for skills has never been more important – to help create 3m apprenticeships, to fuel the Northern Powerhouse, to boost social mobility and to drive economic growth.”
“The UK is home to world beating universities that we should all be proud of,” he added. “But as well as degrees, we also need many more people with high class technical and professional skills.”