The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, says Tony Abbott has ignored the pharmaceutical industry’s support for the Government’s new R&D Tax Credit, a move Carr says will deny businesses better assistance for research and development.
Carr was speaking at the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE) Australasia Leadership Forum in Sydney today.
The Labor Government’s R&D Tax Credit is reportedly worth $1.6 billion a year to businesses in Australia, including those from manufacturing and other industrial areas.
According to Carr, if Abbott’s Liberal Party is voted as the new Government at the Federal Election this Saturday 21 August, the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry will be poorer for it.
“The R&D Tax Credit is about boosting Australia’s research and development performance, and encouraging more of Australia’s two million businesses to engage in innovation,” Carr said.
“It’s an integral part of Federal Labor’s economic plan to move Australia forward.
“Tony Abbott and the Coalition have done Australian industry a great disservice by delaying the legislation in the Senate.
“This demonstrates how little Mr Abbott understands about the economy. His lack of economic judgement makes him a huge risk to Australia’s future.
“A Gillard Labor Government will work tirelessly to secure passage of the legislation.”
Industry association Medicines Australia supports the R&D Tax Credit, and has called on both political parties to implement the plan if elected.
“The existing R&D Tax Credit Concession program has failed to help Australian companies attract a larger share of the global pharmaceutical industry’s R&D investment budget, which is with $70 billion annually,” said chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw.
According to Shaw, the new R&D Tax Credit will be more predictable and reduce costs of conducting eligible R&D in Australia, giving Australia more chance of attracting R&D investment from overseas.
The new plan will reportedly provide a 45% refundable tax credit for companies turning over less than $20 million per annum, and a 40% non-refundable tax credit to all other companies.