Another worthy spending commitment, another piece of added pressure on the remaining areas of public expenditure:
A Liberal Democrat government would introduce a package of measures supporting innovation in UK businesses, it has been announced today.
The manifesto plans include ringfencing the science research budget and introducing a green innovation arm to the British Business Bank.
The plans also provide further support for the ‘Catapult’ programme, which bridges the gap between universities, research institutions and business through £100m of funding over the next Parliament.
Excuse a slight digression whilst I cheer a little:
In July, Vince Cable launched the driverless cars developments, which had benefited from this programme.
All good stuff, but it adds yet more pressure to other spending areas that aren’t getting such commitments – a point which I expanded on in Questions over Lib Dem fiscal policies deepen with more tax cuts floated.
These science proposals are part of the pre-manifesto document that will get debated at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow this October.