Brother, can you spare £10bn?

Those looking for an explanation for the surprises in last week's Budget should look to the US. Sources close to the Government say that John Kingman, the highly experienced managing director of the Treasury's Finance and Industry Directorate, drove most of the proposed changes to the research funding system. It is said that Kingman was so impressed by a recent sabbatical at Harvard University that he came back insisting that the UK needed an overhaul. Of course, setting up a British version of the US National Institutes of Health is all well and good - but we are missing tens of billions if we really want to compete.

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