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October 09, 2020

The Morrison Government performed an almighty backflip on the Research and Development Tax Incentive (RDTI) in Tuesday’s Budget, which is an inadequate response to the critical need for increased R&D capacity in the depths of the Morrison Recession.

The Government billed the backflip on the RDTI as new spending, which is a brazen misrepresentation of the truth.

They boast of an extra $2billion funding for R&D tax incentives but $1.8billion of it already exists, along with legislation proposed to cut it.

Their grand plan for research and development, so essential in the depths of this recession, is to simply restore the money that in their heart of hearts they want to cut, maintaining the status quo.

Research and Development is suffering under the Coalition, facing further contraction due to COVID-19 and falling R&D funding in the higher education sector, and yet the Government chooses to do nothing.

After seven years of neglect and a 30 per cent decline in business R&D in the years prior to the pandemic, Australia is far behind where we should be.

The manufacturing industry is one of the biggest users of the RDTI, and any underinvestment in R&D will jeopardise Australia’s manufacturing future of highly skilled, well paid, secure jobs.

The Morrison Government’s answer to the first recession in 30 years is to leave Australians with one trillion dollars of debt, but yet do nothing to encourage R&D in Australia.

The Government’s failure to support R&D poses a serious threat to our economy, industries, and present and future workforces.