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More betrayal from Labor on Australian R&D.

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Media Release

Authorised and printed by Brian Loughnane for the Liberal Party of Australia Cnr Blackall and Macquarie Sts BARTON ACT 2600

Sophine Mirabella MP

Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry Science and Research Federal Member for Indi

Wednesday 11 August 2010


Australian businesses have every right to feel dismayed after Innovation Minister Kim Carr confirmed yesterday he would stubbornly persist with his attempts to implement regressive changes to research and development (R&D) tax incentives and to make them retrospective.

Labor’s reckless spending has forced the gutting of R&D tax incentives. This is yet another betrayal of Australian industry - which is rightly infuriated by his approach.

A sledgehammer is being applied to the R&D eligibility criteria that most of Australia’s best investors in R&D will no longer qualify for assistance.

Unlike Labor, the Coalition is standing up for innovative industries increasing our productivity. Continued investment in R&D is absolutely vital to Australia’s economic future.

Kim Carr treats industry like a factional bully, abusing those who don’t agree with him and labelling them as ‘vested interests’, ‘well-organised’ campaigners’ and ‘losers (who) scream like … pigs’ (Quotes from Senate, Economics Legislation Committee, Budget Estimates (Hansard), 31 May 2010, pp.E53; E57; E66.)

The Coalition would ensure that the present arrangements remain in place until at least 1 July 2011 so that certainty and stability is restored for business. In the meantime, we would also work with industry to design improved incentives.

Australian R&D investors can rest assured that we will reject Labor’s heavy-handed definitions of ‘core’ and ‘supporting’ R&D; its dominant purpose test; its feedstock provisions; its increased compliance provisions; and its lack of any modelling of its proposed changes. We will reverse their attempts to limit access to R&D incentives because we believe that innovation is at the heart of a growing economy.

Australian R&D investors deserve much better - and, under a Coalition Government, they will finally get real consultation and input in improving R&D legislation.

Media Contact: John Pollack, 0410482261