I agree with Sam Morgan

The NZ Herald reports:

TradeMe founder Sam Morgan has called the Government’s research and development policy a “subsidy for private investors” during a cut-and-thrust social media exchange with Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce.

The Government yesterday announced its Callaghan Innovation had awarded a further $32 million over three years to 22 high tech companies under the Research and Development Growth Grants scheme.

The latest companies come from a wide range of industries from aviation to horticulture and include two companies that floated in the past year – online travel software company Serko and software company GeoOp.

News of the grants prompted Morgan, an entrepreneur who has been involved with a number of grant recipients in the past, to take to social networking site Twitter and say taxpayers were “giving free money to publicly listed tech companies to benefit wealthy tech investors”.

“Serko. Good company. Just raised lots of money on NZX. No constraint on raising more capital. Successful grant recipient. Unnecessary,” Morgan said.

“All tech companies should apply for grants and take what they can get. When bureaucrats pick shitty companies there is no consequence…When I invest in shitty companies, I lose my money. When investors do this continually, they disappear,” Morgan tweeted.

I agree with Sam Morgan. I’d rather the Government cut company tax for all companies, than use our taxes to hand out grants to a select few. The motives are admirable – to encourage and support research and development – but I’m not convinced the outcomes are value for the taxpayer.

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