The Government was accused of "wool-pulling" to justify pounds 400m cuts in science funding for universities. Sir Ronald Oxburgh, the new president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and rector of Imperial College in London, described as "nonsense" Treasury claims that the cuts in capital funding over the next three years could be replaced by money from industry under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). "The PFI is just a way of borrowing money, and you have to raise recurrent sums of money to service the loan," he said yesterday.
The cut represents a 30 per cent reduction in funding, and has led to complaints from universities and the pressure group Save British Science that it will lead to dangerous corner-cutting in laboratories which cannot afford safety afford adequate safety equipment. Charles Arthur