Filed under News updateThursday, 24 March 2011
Announcements in the Budget on the tax and regulation of scientific research were welcomed today by REC Pharmaceutical & Scientific.
The Plan for Growth, published alongside yesterday’s Budget, includes a proposal for a new national health research regulatory agency , which will streamline the regulation of research and simplify the approval process for clinical trials. The Government has also made clear its intention to simplify the process at a local level.
The Chancellor announced £100 million to fund the expansion of four major science facilities, whilst the Research and Development Tax Credit for SMEs will be increased from 175 to 200 per cent from April . This incentive will rise even further to 225 per cent next year.
Commenting, Lawrence Levy, REC Pharmaceutical & Scientific Chair, said:
“The recent decisions by Pfizer and Novartis to close factories and cut jobs underline the stiff global competition that Britain faces in the life sciences field. These announcements are welcome evidence that the government understands this challenge, and recognises the importance of science and innovation for the long-term health of the economy. As the Chancellor himself stated, ‘science is central to our future as a place to create businesses’ – Britain must be made more attractive as a base for research and development.
“If we are going to meet that ambition, the research approval process must be as simple to navigate as possible, and the government’s move in this direction is to be lauded. REC Pharmaceutical & Scientific members are keen to offer the front-line perspective of recruiters to ensure this simplification works.
“The extra help for small businesses and the new science centres are also crucial: Britain’s research base must be as wide as possible, to give us the greatest chance of finding the success stories of the future.
“Whilst these are positive signs, the government must not assume that a bright future is now assured for science and research in Britain. The impact of the tax credit increase should be closely monitored, to ensure a real difference is achieved, and the government must stand ready to take further action.”
Contact: Ed Sexton
Phone: 020 7009 2192