Christopher Pyne’s bizarre statement on the Liberals’ innovation record shows he either hasn’t been paying attention for the last two years, or he believes the nation’s scientists, researchers and innovators can be taken for mugs.
Here’s a reminder for Mr Pyne on the Liberals’ true record on the programs he chose to highlight today.
The R&D Tax Incentive:
Fact: Labor in government introduced a simpler, more generous and more effective R&D Tax Incentive, which the Liberals opposed.
Fact: The Liberals in government have voted three times to cut the R&D Tax Incentive. One cut has been implemented, one has been blocked, and they’ve now come back to the Senate for another go.
The Entrepreneurs’ Programme ($100 million per annum):
Fact: The Liberals abolished Enterprise Connect and Commercialisation Australia in their disastrous 2014 Budget, cutting $1 billion from successful innovation programs overall.
The Industry Growth Centre Initiative ($225 million):
Fact: Growth Centres are a cheap imitation of Labor’s Innovation Precincts, with less than half the funding – and they are not going well.
Cooperative Research Centres Programme ($584 million):
Fact: The Liberals cut the CRC program by $107 million in the past two budgets and haven’t held a single competitive funding round for new CRCs.
The Boosting the Commercial Returns from Research Strategy:
Fact: Of the 14 key actions under this so-called “strategy”, ten involve another review, development of a plan, consideration of options or identifying further opportunities for possible future action.
The remaining actions include taking $300 million from universities to provide stop-gap funding for research infrastructure – after Mr Pyne’s infamous decision to hold 1700 science jobs hostage to his plan for $100,000 degrees.
Christopher Pyne might think it’s clever to play up to Malcolm Turnbull’s grand innovation rhetoric, but the fact is that both men were members of a Cabinet that spent the last two years savaging science, research and innovation.
Labor will not forget that record and neither will the science and innovation community. A press release is not going to fix that for you, Mr Pyne.
Only Labor is truly committed to investing in science, research and innovation to build the jobs of the future. And we have the record to prove it.