September 9, 2008
National’s R&D policy bad news for manufacturing
National’s leaked Research, Science and Technology policy would reduce incentives for the private sector to invest in R&D at the very time New Zealand’s manufacturing sector needs it most, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
Policy leaked today shows National plans to reduce tax credits for research and scrap the $700m dollar Fast Forward fund.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says reducing R&D investment is not the road to a high wage, high skill economy.
“The private sector spend on research and development in New Zealand is poor by world standards and a move like this will only mean less industry-focused research and more lost opportunities.
“If we want to have a high wage high skill economy we need businesses that are ready to invest in decent research and in their workers.
“Our future is in doing things in new and different ways and unless we provide targeted incentives to business other countries will and there will be even more reason for the clever and the talented to leave New Zealand.”
The EPMU represents 50,000 workers across eleven industries and recently launched the Centre for High Performance Work - a project aimed at increasing productivity by using shop-floor knowledge and innovation.