Malcolm Turnbull’s 2018-19 Budget is a mirage when it comes to investment in science, research and innovation.
Despite lofty claims of billions of dollars, the actual amount of additional spending on science and research initiatives is only $33.9 million in 2018-19.
While the government is taking savings from the R&D Tax incentive of $2.4 billion over four years, they are spending only $410 million on new initiatives.
This is a budget that also bakes in all the old Coalition cuts. Cuts to CSIRO, cuts to innovation and the abolition of the $3.8 billion Education Investment Fund.
This budget again reveals Turnbull’s Ideas Boom to be nothing more than a con-job.
We were told there would be $50million for an Australian Space Agency, but after Budget night we find another Turnbull Con with only $26 million allocated.
One thing is for sure: Australia’s scientists will see through this budget sleight of hand.
No amount of spin will hide the fact that this is a government that has sacked hundreds of scientists from agencies like the CSIRO in the past five years.
Malcolm Turnbull’s Budget fundamentally fails the national interest test.
This is a budget that has all the hallmarks of a government trying to do nothing but erecting a façade to rebuild its political stocks in preparation for an early election.
And big business and banks are getting an $80billion hand out while Australian scientists once again have to keep doing more with less.