Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 12:19 pm on 1st April 2008.

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Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Minister of State (Science and Innovation), Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills 12:19 pm, 1st April 2008

I will answer some of the questions put by my hon. Friend, but first, let me put on record the broader picture, in response to Adam Afriyie. It is a matter of fact that there has been a real-terms increase in the overall science budget. The Labour Government have more than doubled the science budget over the last 10 years; by 2010-11, the budget will have tripled since we came into power. However, science does not stand still and decisions will be taken on the basis of scientific priorities. Whatever budget is given to a research council, there will always be more projects that they want to support than they are able to fund. Therefore, decisions have to be taken, but they must be taken on the basis of the best available science.

It is for the Government to set the overall budgetary figures and to approve delivery plans for the research councils, and I think that that is what we do. As part of that process, we will scrutinise those delivery plans in some detail to ensure that they are in accordance with Government policy.