Oral Answers to Questions — Innovation, Universities and Skills
John Denham (Secretary of State, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills; Southampton, Itchen, Labour)
This is national science and engineering week, featuring events involving around 1.5 million people. As I am sure the House will know, the website for the Save Our Bees campaign has been overwhelmed by public interest and support. [Laughter.] Hon. Members laugh, but I believe that that demonstrates that science and public support for it are critical to tackling the great challenges of our time, including the environmental challenges.
In the past 10 years the Government have doubled science spending, which will rise to nearly £6 billion by 2010-11, creating an outstanding research base and a huge national asset. As the Prime Minister said recently,
"we will meet our ten-year commitment to maintain science spending... we will maintain the ringfence we have placed around science funding - protecting money for science from competing demands in the short-term".