According to the UK govt., that’s what they are about basic science and research:
The Government’s long term vision, set out in the Ten Year Science & Innovation Investment Framework, is to make Britain one of the best places in the world for science, research and innovation – the successful exploitation of new ideas incorporating new technologies, design and best practice. Our challenges to achieve that vision include sustaining and developing the UK’s world-class research base, strengthening its links with business and other users, enabling knowledge transfer, and promoting innovation in products, services and processes.
According to me, that’s what should be done to the numpty at the DTI who’s decided to nick back £68 million from our research councils to cover the fact that they tried to shore up a failing car company for far too long (privately owned, might I add) and completely miscalculated the associated costs of our nuclear energy program (also private, I believe!).