§ Mr. Battle
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what sum was spent by his Department on research in each of the last 10 years; what percentage this was of the total annual budget; what is the budget for the forthcoming year; what percentage this is of his total budget; and what additional new research is to be undertaken.
§ Mr. Heseltine
[holding answer 13 December 1994]: The sums spent on research and development by the Department for the last 10 years were reported in the statistical supplement to the 1994 "Forward Look of Government-funded Science, Engineering and Technology". The expenditure on research and development and the percentage that this expenditure was of total departmental expenditure are given:
R and D expenditure £ million Percentage of total expenditure 1985–86 406.7 21.1 1986–87 555.3 20.3
R and D expenditure £ million Percentage of total expenditure 1987–88 500.8 33.6 1988–89 504.6 23.3 1989–90 476.1 30.2 1990–91 462.6 29.5 1991–92 364.8 26.0 1992–93 350.8 26.6 1993–94 310.3 23.2 1994–95 245.0 17.8
1. Figures include the Department of Energy.
2. The percentages are based on total central Government spend on trade and industry excluding nationalised industries financing requirements.
3. Figures for 1993–94 are estimated outturns.
4. Figures for 1994–95 are at provision.
The expenditure on research and development in the coming year has still to be determined, and will be reported in the statistical supplement to the 1995 "Forward Look".
The decline in the Department's spend on R and D over the period partly reflects the inclusion of net aerospace launch aid figures. In the first half of the period, launch aid payments far outstripped receipts. More recently, this situation has been reversed. There has also been a substantial reduction in expenditure on energy R and D, the principal factor in which has been the decision to withdraw from research on the prototype fast nuclear reactor at Dounreay.