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Government Picking Losers With Taxpayer Funded R&D Grants

Government Picking Losers With Taxpayer Funded R&D Grants

16 JANUARY 2014

The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming ‘research and development’ grants announced yesterday by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce costing taxpayers $140million over three years.

One the of recipients of the grants is high profile technology firm Rakon, which share price has been in free-fall since 2007 and today announced it is closing its UK plant.

“The government shouldn’t be trying to pick winners with taxpayer cash,” says Executive Director, Jordan Williams. “In the case of Rakon, why is the government throwing money at a firm thats share price has been tumbling for years?”

In 2007 Rakon’s share price reached $5.70. Today it is trading at less than 4 per cent of that, at around 19cents. In addition, the Shareholders Association and others have criticised the governance of the company.

“If the government is going to give out taxpayer money, at least give it to companies that are succeeding, not failing.”

“This is a grant to a company that is shrinking rather than growing New Zealand exports. It stinks of corporate welfare,” concludes Mr Williams.

More information is available at www.taxpayers.org.nz.


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