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Labour must improve R&D environment

Labour must improve R&D environment

Labour's policies are making it difficult to get innovative Research and Development projects up and running, says National's Science spokesman Dr Paul Hutchison.

He is commenting on the OECD Economic Survey Report, released this week, which says 'ultimately what matters is whether New Zealand can offer a favourable environment for conducting knowledge intensive activities, which require top-class scientists and favourable tax and regulatory regimes'. It also highlighted New Zealand's relatively low overall expenditure on R&D as a proportion of GDP.

"The futures of many of our most important industries rely heavily on the development of new technology," Dr Hutchison says.

"For example, it is vital for agriculture that we have strong R&D and bioscience sectors.

"I'm concerned the Government's high company tax rates and increased research hurdles, like the RMA and HSNO Acts, are stifling R&D opportunities.

"Labour's R&D spending has also decreased as a proportion of GDP.

"These policies make it difficult to develop new technology here. Top scientists and willing investors will move offshore if the current environment is not improved.

"The Government's rhetoric is strong, but its actions do not coincide with the OECD report," says Dr Hutchison.

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