In a letter to Lord Mandelson, the Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, Prospect outlined the immediate danger to British industry that the cuts would have and the fact that research projects vital to economic growth would simply be stopped.
Prospect Deputy General Secretary Mike Clancy said: “NPL runs the majority of the measurement programmes for the National Measurement Office (NMO). These are vital to British industry as they provide the standards relied upon by every section of the economy from healthcare to advanced manufacturing and the introduction of a low-carbon economy.
“The cut of £6m from NMO’s budget, being imposed by Lord Mandleson’s department, will have an estimated economic impact on the UK of £410m just at a time when we are trying to rebuild the economy.”
Prospect has met with Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable MP who agreed that the cuts would be harmful, calling them “foolish, panic cuts which will undermine Britain’s long-term science capability at NPL.” They will also result in the loss of between 40-50 highly skilled jobs.
Clancy added: “These cuts will go to the heart of British industry. The government must realise that cutting back on standards and research at NPL is not the way to grow an innovative and prosperous future for the UK economy. We urge Lord Mandelson and this government to stop the cuts now as they are nothing more than ill-conceived and counter-productive.”