The Chancellor's announcement of increased spending on science is welcome, as is the news that research councils are to be allowed to use their end-of-year flexibility. This restores £100 million to them, as suggested in your story "Budget fillip lays fears of cut to rest" (March 30). But this does nothing to restore the "ring-fenced" £68 million removed from the research councils' budgets to compensate for an overspend in other parts of the Department of Trade and Industry. For 2007-08 all sectors of science will have to cut back. Perhaps the answer is that research councils should overspend in future so that other parts of the DTI must pay the price by having their budgets cut.
Chair, Heads of Department of Mathematical Sciences in the UK Liverpool University