Letter: Investing in the UK

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Sir: You report that in his pre-Budget statement the Chancellor announced a consultation with small businesses on how to encourage them to invest more in research and development ("Brown stakes reputation on Budget gamble", 4 November).

That is welcome, but the problem in Britain is that BIG business does not invest enough in R&D. Only two of the world's top 50 investors are British companies, and last year corporate R&D investment in Britain rose by only 5 per cent. In the USA the figure was 17 per cent, in Germany 10 per cent and in Japan nine per cent.

Britain's economy will not be ready for the high-tech 21st century until all of our businesses take investment in R&D seriously.


Director, Save British Science

London WC1