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June 29, 2020

At a time when the Government likes to praise our manufacturers for stepping up to the plate and helping Australia through COVID-19 health pandemic, they also want to cut $1.8 billion from the Research and Development Tax Incentive (RDTI).

Today’s Senate Inquiry into the RDTI will examine the impact of ripping nearly $2 billion from R&D will affect Australia’s economic recovery, and will question a number of key stakeholders who oppose the bill in its current form.

In its opening address, ResMed, the company often lauded by Industry Minister Karen Andrews for their help in developing essential Personal Protective Equipment, criticised the bill, saying amendments to the bill “makes Australia less attractive to invest relative to other countries”. The company said the government shouldn’t be legislating bills that would negatively impact manufacturing, “It just doesn’t seem right.”

The Morrison Government is entirely focused on marketing. They speak publicly against raising taxes to get out of a crisis, but at the same time they want to increase the tax burden on innovative firms by nearly $2 billion.

Australian businesses need support more than ever to not only survive but thrive post pandemic, yet this governments solution is to withdraw support that gives them that opportunity.

Research and Development is suffering under the Coalition, facing further contraction due to COVID-19 and yet the current Government seems intent on obliterating private and public R&D.

Under the Liberal Morrison Government, Australia’s R&D investment is dismal and has fallen below 2 per cent of GDP. Australia’s investment levels are below countries such as South Korea, Israel, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Singapore and yet this government is persisting with it’s legislation that will see over a billion dollars ripped out of the RDTI.

Rather than resorting to cuts, by investing in R&D, the government can provide the resources for research institutions to produce results that inspire innovation, private investment and further research and development.

The Government’s lack of an economic agenda poses a serious threat to our economy, industries, and present and future workforces.

The Government must immediately restore business confidence and work with both private and public sectors to increase R&D as an economic necessity.