We should evaluate the corporate welfare

Whale Oil blogs:

So how much money has Gameloft received from the NZ Government and Steve Joyce’s piggy bank?

Well it appears to be $15 million, which is funding at $5 million per annum for three years starting 1 January 2014. That means their funding goes until 31 December 2016…this year.

Which is problematic because this morning the news is that Gameloft is closing down, with all developers being sacked.

That’s sad for the staff involved and the investors.

Also sad for the taxpayer who pumped $15 million into a failed company.

I’m not against the Government having some role in supporting business, but we seem to be giving away a lot of money and I am unsure they produce a positive return.

Reports are done on grant recipients, but they tend to be done in the short term when of course the companies are doing well.

What I’d like to see is an audit done of all companies that received government money say five and ten years after they received the funding. Is that company still going? Do they have more or less staff than before they got the grant? Have they increased revenue and/or exports?

UPDATE: The correct figure is $2.8 million, not $15 million. $15 million is the company’s total spend on R&D, and the government grant was for 20% of that. Also Stuff reports the money will have to be repaid, which is good to see.

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