Kew has faced year-on-year cuts to its operating grant-in-aid funding from the government. In 1983, 90% of Kew’s funding came from the UK government as grant in aid. That has now fallen to under 40%. Despite a temporary reversal of this year’s cut, Kew remains under threat.
Over 200 people attended the recent public meeting to Speak up for Kew. The meeting was addressed by Zac Goldsmith MP, John McDonnell MP, Leslie Manasseh, Prospect Deputy General Secretary, James Wong, broadcaster and ethnobotanist, and Megan Dobney from the South East Regional TUC.
The audience of local residents, friends of Kew and concerned academics, Kew staff and volunteers heard the speakers describe the Kew funding gap as a drop in the ocean in comparison to the £119bn lost through income tax avoidance and evasion. All the speakers warned that Kew is losing its specialists to similar institutions in China, India and Brazil where billions of pounds are being spent on plant science. Warnings were given that the expertise of the staff at Kew, built up over a long period was being destroyed by cuts and once lost is impossible to replace.
The restructuring is nearing its conclusion – Kew is losing experienced and expert staff now!
Please continue the pressure on Government to reverse current spending cuts, and to fund Kew in a sustainable way.
See highlights of the public meeting.
Support the campaign by:
Signing the petition at: http://bit.ly/save_kew
Writing to your MP to encourage them to reverse and prevent further cuts to Kew’s funding and ask them to sign Early Day Motion 117
Read http://kewcuts.org for more information