NZPA has a story on the research fund announcement. The amount has been confirmed as $700 million but this is a capital injection which at 7% cost of interest is effectively $49 million annual in terms of expenditure. Still significant but around 0.1% of Government expenditure.
The funding is expected to be matched by industry contributions which is sensible.
I’ve heard on the grapevine that official advice to the Government was not to put the money into a dedicated capital fund, as this sort of jam jar approach removes the ability of Governments to consider quality of investment in future. Some OIAs will be revealing.
Also the rather unusual references to food and pastoral is because the Greens are campaigning against the Dairy Industry as being polluters, so they left Dairy off the propoganda.
Also worth noting that a ballpark estimate of *current* research and development industry funding is $130 million – via DairyNZ, Meat & Wool NZ, Fonterra etc. So this package, while very welcome, should be seen in context of current investment.
As I said this morning – greater R&D can make a real difference to NZ’s productivity and economic growth. So the announcement is a good one, even though it should have been done ages ago, rather than wait for the election campaign.