The recent Comprehensive Spending Review conducted by the coalition government has frozen science and medical funding. The decision was a relief to many researchers, who feared the type of cuts experienced by other sectors. Many scientists were concerned that the UK’s research budget could be reduced by up to 20 per cent in the spending review detailed by the Chancellor, George Osborne.
The announcement means that the science budget will be frozen at a value of just over GBP4.6 billion until 2014, and it will be ring-fenced so that it cannot be reallocated to other government departments. However, if you allow for inflatio, the freeze in spending will actually mean a 10 per cent reduction over the four-year period.
Organisations spend millions every year on medical research, so maintaining funding is paramount. For instance, the charity Diabetes UK spends 22 per cent of its income on research, and intends to spend about GBP6 million this year investigating the causes and prevention of diabetes .
Dr Iain Framen, director of research at Diabetes UK, commented “This is good news and shows that the Government has listened to us telling them that charitable research needs to be supported in order to bring about real health benefits as well as helping wealth creation for the nation.”
He added “Of course the devil will be in the detail and we will be following the rolling out of the CSR with great interest to ensure that the Charitable Research Support Fund is continued at its current level and that the attribution of research costs for clinical trials is fair and transparent.”

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