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The Research and Development (R&D) tax credits policy introduced by Megan Woods is still short on detail and long on generalities after today’s estimates hearing, National’s Research, Science and Innovation Spokesperson Dr Parmjeet Parmar says.

“Today I asked the Minister several key questions on the policy, but she quite simply has not nutted out the finer details.

“She could not provide any information on the spending that will go into existing R&D in tax credits, any information on the estimated spending that will go into possible re-classification of work as research and development, and she could not give any assurances that she will be able to monitor rorting of the tax credit system to the fullest.

“When asked about the public investment increase required in research, science and innovation each year up to 2028 to increase R&D to 2 per cent of GDP, her answer was ‘significant’.

“And the threshold set for businesses of $100,000 R&D expenditure during a tax year is now open for discussion according to the Minister, as she tries to win support from innovative smaller businesses.

“The sector deserves a Minister with a better grasp of the figures from than what she demonstrated today.

“The financial risk of R&D is being shifted onto the businesses themselves, leaving them with the burden to develop new, innovative products and technologies with no promise of support from the Government.

“It’s simply not acceptable for New Zealand businesses that the Minister has done no homework on her flagship policy for the portfolio.”

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