Labor to 'preserve' R&D Tax Incentive

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Shadow innovation and industry minister Senator Kim Carr has pledged a future Labor government to 'preserving' the R&D Tax Incentive.

In a speech to the party's national conference in Adelaide, Senator Carr accused the Morrison government of 'wrecking' the program with a series of changes.

The parliament is currently considering a range of reforms to the R&D Tax Incentive program, including a $4 million cap on annual cash claims, a reduction in the claimable benefit, and the introduction of an intensity measure.

AusBiotech has led opposition to the reforms, arguing they are driven by budget considerations that will only undermine the government's overarching strategic objective to grow the domestic life sciences sector.

A Senate inquiry looking at the reforms is due to report in February 2019.

Outlining its draft 'innovation' platform, Senator Carr said an elected Labor government would 'preserve' the R&D Tax Incentive program.

“As part of our goal to devote 3 pervcent of GDP to research and development by the end of the next decade, Labor will preserve the Research and Development Tax Incentive, to drive investment in innovation through the tax system,” says the draft platform.

“This is critical to Australia’s ability to remain globally competitive by encouraging firms to develop their ideas in this country.”

The draft platform also says Labor will consider measures designed to increase collaboration between universities, publicly-funded research agencies and industry, as well as increasing co-investment in innovative manufacturing.