The above title is not meant to undermine BioMickWatson’s latest blog post - “Are you ready for the 20% cut in your sequencing budget?” Connecting half of the dots is incredibly good, and scientists in US are way behind those from UK in that respect.
Here is little more information on what we are talking about. Apparently, UK government changed a rule on VAT (value-added tax) charged for inter-university transactions. When you realize that most research funding comes from government and then government taxes part of it away, you figure out -
Let me say this again the VAT goes directly back to the treasury. This is effectively a stealth cut in the research budget by the UK government.
So, on one hand, government says that it will continue to support all research project, but by changing rules here and there, it takes away large chunk of that funding.
Let us next look at the bigger picture of what went on since 2008. We explained the European banking crisis here. Especially pay attention to the second image in the link. A bank has so much additional capital from equity holders, senior bondholders and junior bondholders, that the bank is rarely going to lose depositors money. Even if a bank is that vulnerable, there is no excuse for making the bondholders whole.
However, bankers in UK and US fooled politicians about total collapse in 2008, and politicians decided to bail-out the bank bondholders by going heavily into debt. Then the politicians told people that it is time for ‘austerity’. These VAT taxes, cut in college funding and thousand other taxes are part of that austerity, so that governments can continue to make the bank bondholders whole.
I am confident that people like BioMickWatson will not be able to connect the second set of dots before it is too late, and given that he is among the smartest of the crew, we have no other option than to stick to our vision for biology in 21 century.