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Boris Johnson set to break science funding pledge, officials say

Posted On: 7 Dec 2021   |   Posted By: Politico

LONDON - Boris Johnson is set to break his promise to increase public spending on science to £22 billion a year by 2024-25 in the U.K. annual budget coming Wednesday, according to two officials close to the discussions.
The move is being considered in a bid to keep a lid on debt levels that have boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but leading scientists and lawmakers warn it will have serious implications for the country's economic growth.
Johnson committed to the €22 billion annual goal as part of a long-term commitment to boost total research and development spending to 2.4 percent of GDP by 2027. This would cement Britain as a “science superpower,” the prime minister said in June.
Under the plans now being considered by ministers, science funding would increase at a slower pace, reaching between £19.5 billion and £21 billion in 2024-25, according to one official familiar with the discussions. The £22 billion per year target will be missed “by a year or two,” the official said.
A second official...

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