12 Oct 2008

Key defends R and D policy

6:46 pm on 12 October 2008

National Party leader John Key is defending his party's policy to scrap business tax credits for research and development, saying money would still be spent in that area.

Mr Key was responding to criticisms that neither political party is offering solutions to the international financial crisis.

The New Zealand Stock Exchange and economic think tank New Zealand Institute are accusing political parties of ignoring the dire financial situation overseas and say more has to be done to protect the economy.

The two organisations say that $700 million worth of R& D credits should be maintained. National's policy is to scrap those credits.

But Mr Key says a National-led government would put $100 million directly into public research facilities.

However, he says other suggestions made by the Institute and the Stock Exchange would have to come under more careful consideration.

These include that businesses should be able to defer the payment of provisional tax for two years, and get 100% depreciation on capital investment.