Budget tables confirm savage science cuts

Budget tables belatedly released today confirm the Abbott Government’s savage cuts to science, research and innovation.

The Australian Government’s Science, Research and Innovation Tables (SRI) for 2014-2015 show the Abbott Government is ripping almost $400 million from science, research and innovation funding in just one year.

Science is the key to the economy and jobs of the future, as well as the new technologies that improve our lives every day.

That is why Labor put science and innovation at the heart of the national agenda, boosting investment to $9.6 billion in 2013-14.

The Coalition opposed us every step of the way – and now in government it is slashing funding to CSIRO, universities, business innovation and R&D programs.

By far the largest cuts are to the Business Enterprise sector, with almost $340 million cut from programs that encourage business investment in R&D.

The SRI tables also reveal that the number of new firms undertaking R&D through the R&D Tax Incentive in 2011-12 rose by almost 50 per cent under Labor, with a further increase of almost 10 per cent in 2012-13.

This is the very program the Government is proposing to cut, with legislation currently before the Senate to restrict a number of large Australian firms from accessing the incentive.

This comes on top of a $620 million cut to the R&D Tax Incentive in the Budget – yet another measure Australians were not told about before the election.

The Abbott Government seems more interested in sending jobs offshore than in keeping them in Australia.

After almost a year in office, there is no science minister, no science policy, and no plan to create a modern economy and jobs for the future.

The world is changing, and Australia cannot afford to be left behind.

Australians deserve better than a government stuck in the past.


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