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Nat MP concedes their R&D policy not good

Hon Jim Anderton

Progressive Party leader

31 October 2008 Media Statement

Nat MP concedes their R&D policy not good

National MPs are jumping ship on their own party's policies because it is a bad idea to increase business tax right now, and especially to increase them on the most innovative companies in the country, Progressive leader Jim Anderton says.

Little-known Hamilton East National MP David Bennett this week said in the Waikato Times "I don't think that our (R&D) policy is as good as it could be."
[Waikato Times Farming section, page 12, Tuesday, 12 October 2008].

Mr Bennett said National would wind up the $2 billion public-private Fast Forward innovation fund and instead set up an international centre of excellence on greenhouse gas research.

This centre already exists, funded by Government and industry, Jim Anderton said, another example of National trying to re-invent the wheel.

"Rather than financing the fast Forward Fund with overseas debt, National would use the superannuation fund to pay for an upgrade in infrastructure," Mr Bennett confusingly remarked. He claims "offshore debt" is being used for Fast Forward, which is "just sending money overseas."

Jim Anderton says National's industry development plans are in chaos.

"Saying Fast Forward sends money overseas doesn't make any sense at all. The government is not borrowing for Fast Forward. The money is in a bank account, able to be drawn down now for partnerships with industry for science and research that increase New Zealand's innovation.

"Even National's own MPs can't defend the unwise and short-sighted National party policy to cut Fast Forward and increase tax on innovation."

National intends to cut the 15% r&d tax credits, which will increase tax paid by the most innovative businesses in the country by more than business tax has ever been increased in New Zealand.


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