The RSE President Comments on UK Government Spending Review

In a speech yesterday (25 November), Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the UK Government’s Spending Review for 2020.


Professor Dame Anne Glover, President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, said:

“The UK Spending Review makes clear the scale of the societal and economic challenges in addressing both the ongoing and longer term impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Spending Review, including the investment of nearly £15 billion in R&D in 2021-22 and the multi-year settlement for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) recognises the crucial role that science, research and innovation will continue to play in supporting the UK’s recovery. These points also reinforce the importance of, and need for, the UK’s long-term commitment to research. It will be crucially important to ensure that all parts of the UK are able to benefit from and inform how the additional resources are invested.

While welcoming the Spending Review’s focus on ‘levelling up’ to reduce regional disparities across the UK, more detail is required on the plans for introducing the long-awaited Shared Prosperity Fund and its role in replacing the valuable support, particularly in the devolved nations, provided by EU Structural and Investment Funds in addressing regional inequalities. Similarly, with the Brexit transition period due to end on the 31st December, clarity is needed urgently on the UK’s participation in EU Framework Programmes for research and innovation to ensure that the UK is able to retain and enhance its international research collaborations and competitiveness.

As Scotland’s National Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh looks forward to continuing to work with both the UK and Scottish Governments to help ensure that Scotland can benefit from the commitments set out in the Spending Review.”