On the eve of the 2012 Budget with the word “austerity” ringing in our ears, the Stuff website has done a poll asking readers what they see as priority areas for the Government.

Of the six categories listed – health, education, welfare, taxes, business and science, guess which area comes in as lowest priority.

That’s right… science.

Source: Stuff.co.nz

Source: Stuff.co.nz

It is not a scientific poll, but its results aren’t surprising anyway. Few will be excited if, as TVNZ predicts, tomorrow will see a major allocation of funding to boost R&D efforts and establish the so-called Advanced Technology Institute. Some of that funding had previously been flagged, so its yet to be seen what “new” money we’ll see – if any. Education comes out top in the Stuff poll, which is heartening, suggesting Kiwis are concerned most about preparing the next generation to make the most of their potential – in whatever field they choose.

Keep an eye on Stuff, Scoop and Herald Online tomorrow for Budget 2012 coverage.