The Government has relied on "regurgitated announcements" for this year’s Budget, if yesterday's speech is anything to go by.
That's the reaction of opposition and Labour Leader Andrew Little, who has slammed Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce after announcing plans to invest another $80 million over four years in R&D growth grants.
Administered by Callaghan Innovation, the plans are designed to encourage more private sector research and development and grow New Zealand’s R&D ecosystem, a move questioned by Little.
“National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a surplus and rewards for years of hard work and cut backs," Little says.
“Kiwis have fulfilled their end of the bargain. They deserve to see the pay back.
"The Government’s $20 million a year spending on Research and Development might buy Steven Joyce some good photo ops at his favourite companies.
“However, it won’t make a real difference to the export sector. To really support innovation we need an aggressive tax credit system that rewards all innovating businesses."
According to Little, this Budget must deliver "real gains for areas of real need."
“We have a housing crisis spinning out of control, the regions are being neglected and Kiwis are still waiting for the wage rises Bill English promised them,” he adds.
Furthermore, Little believes the announcement of $244 million over four years for ‘new’ schools is a reheat.
"A number of these supposed new schools have been announced before," he observes.
“This is the Government trying to dress up business as usual. Building schools as populations grow is a core Government function."