Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Greens seek extra billion to fund economic diversification

Greens seek extra billion to fund economic diversification

By Pattrick Smellie

July 16 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand needs to invest in science and innovation to reduce its economic reliance on agriculture, the Green Party says, in an election policy announcement that pledges the Greens would spend $1 billion over three years as a first step to "kick-starting a transformational shift in how our economy creates wealth."

Party co-leader Russel Norman released the Greens' "Smart, Green Innovation" policy, offering a range of tax incentives, reforms to innovation grant-making, 1,000 more maths and science students annually, research and development tax grants, and "passive" government investment in promising companies receiving "significant taxpayer funds."

The policy would require companies that receive government assistance and are sold to foreign buyers to repay their grants, as would all businesses that "benefit from public investment," so that funds could be recycled for up and coming new businesses.

The Greens' policies will gain most traction if in a coalition government led by the Labour Party after the Sept. 20 general election, and is broadly compatible with Labour, especially on tax incentives for research and development, which the Greens suggest should be extended to cover "management training for medium-sized New Zealand-owned firms", recognising shortcomings in management skills in many local businesses.

However, numerous elements of the Greens' plan would appeal equally to National, were the two parties to repeat the Memorandum of Understanding arrangement they brokered in 2008-11 and gave the Greens some policy wins, including funding for nationwide home insulation programmes.

Among the Greens' detailed proposals are requiring both the ACC and Government Superannuation funds to plough at least 1 percent of their investment portfolios into a "high technology investment fund", adding 1,000 tertiary education places for maths, engineering, and computer and physical sciences, costed at $50 million annually, and an increase to total science funding rather than a cut in primary sector science to refocus national effort.

The proposed extra $1 billion would ramp up from $100 million in 2015/16 to $500 million by 2017/18 and there would be "greater investment in promising new paths in the ICT, renewable energy, and manufacturing sectors."

A further $20 million would be applied to implementing elements of the current government's 2011 Powering Innovation report, including an educational campaign to promote careers in science, maths and engineering, and spending $11.3 million to re-establish student allowances for post-graduate study.

Elsewhere, the policy proposes a $10 million kick-start fund for social and Maori enterprises and changes to the way stock options are taxed for qualifying start-ups, "recognising the value of 'sweat equity' and assuming the introduction of a comprehensive capital gains tax."

The Greens would also allow "passive investment" by government agencies in promising start-up businesses.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Sky City : Auckland Convention Centre Cost Jumps By A Fifth

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator, is in talks with the government on how to fund the increased cost of as much as $130 million to build an international convention centre in downtown Auckland, with further gambling concessions ruled out. The Auckland-based company has increased its estimate to build the centre to between $470 million and $530 million as the construction boom across the country drives up building costs and design changes add to the bill.
More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: Mediation Between Lyttelton Port And Union Fails

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. More>>

Earlier:

Science Policy: Callaghan, NSC Funding Knocked In Submissions

Callaghan Innovation, which was last year allocated a budget of $566 million over four years to dish out research and development grants, and the National Science Challenges attracted criticism in submissions on the government’s draft national statement of science investment, with science funding largely seen as too fragmented. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

More:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news