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So, Where Are The R And D Cuts Going To Be Made?

So, Where Are The R And D Cuts Going To Be Made?

Now that the dust has settled on National’s slashing of funding for innovation, it’s timely to ask which areas the Government plans to cut in the science sector, Labour’s Research Science and Development spokesperson David Shearer said today.

“New Zealand says it's behind Research and Development, but contrast that to Australia. They realise that their future economic growth and prosperity is about innovation and science.

“How does John Key expect to catch up when he puts up much less than the Australians and half of what Labour already had in place?

“Earlier this week John Key announced he needed to slash $96 million out of current science sector spending to pay for his new ‘innovative’ grants and voucher systems,” David Shearer said.

“So what is being considered for the chop?

“We already know Research Science and Technology Minister Wayne Mapp has cut over 30 scientists and technicians at AgResearch and is considering slashing around a dozen scientists at Environmental Science and Research (ESR). But what other cuts does he now have planned?

“While the Prime Minister was smiling and waving earlier this week announcing National would halve the funding commitment Labour made in R&D, many scientists and researchers were wondering what future lay in store for them and their work.

“National scrapped Labour’s R&D tax credits, $700 million Fast Forward Fund and is now playing catch up. Unfortunately that catch up means $96 million of current activity is going to be axed.

“This week National committed $225m over 4 years to R&D. Any new funding is welcome news, but on an annualised basis that is just half of what was promised in election year ($315 over 3 years).

“The Government is trying to paint a picture that it’s right behind our scientists and innovators. Unfortunately the reality doesn’t match the rhetoric.

“The reality is that soon Wayne Mapp will have to announce $96 million of cuts. That is going to have a profound effect on our science sector,” David Shearer said.


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