Written By: - Date published: 1:47 pm, July 16th, 2014 - 34 comments
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Russel Norman has announced a policy that indeed does look to be “smart, green” with a focus on innovation. It does look like moving NZ towards a “Green New Deal”, in a way that works with the current system. I does involve partnerships with business in a way that does not aim to dismantle capitalism.
However, it does aim to reverse the direction away from the highly destructive neoliberal scam, and from many NAct-type PPD deals: towards giving government a stake in innovative businesses, rather than merely privatising profits, and socialising risk.
There is a strong focus on partnership with businesses for promoting Research and Development.
Our plan to build a smarter, more innovative economy has as its centrepiece an additional $1 billion of government investment in research and development (R&D) above current spend, including tax breaks for business.
The Green Party’s plan for an innovative economy includes:
- $1 billion of new government funding over three years for research and development, kick-starting a transformational shift in how our economy creates wealth.
- Government taking a collaborative partnership approach to innovation with the private sector, which will include:
- R&D funding made up of tax credits and grants;
- a requirement for firms that go into overseas ownership to repay their grants;
- a new voluntary option for large grants, where companies that receive significant taxpayer funds agree to the Government taking an equity stake in their business.
- The Green Party will fund an additional 1,000 places at tertiary institutions for students of engineering, mathematics, computer science, and the physical sciences.
Innovation is one of the best ways to add value to our exports, raise wages, and better protect the natural world we love.
Full details of the plan at the link.
I’m not keen on language focused on “how our economy creates wealth”. It’s the language that the corporates and capitalists favour.
Russel Norman’s speech also evokes, moving away from Business as Usual and towards a sustainable future and fair employment and wages, and the benefits for all Kiwis.
He sites credible research:
Economist David Skilling’s study of small countries with advanced economies such as Denmark, Israel, and Finland found that one of the defining characteristics of their wealth was high investment in R&D.
Each has niche manufacturing industries that make up significant parts of their economies, while high tech industries make up a disproportionate share of their exports.
Each had agricultural-based economies in the 1970s, and while they haven’t abandoned agriculture, it now makes up a small proportion of their exports.
The plan involves tax credits and grants that shift the rewards to businesses that will benefit Kiwis rather than siphon profits overseas. The will strengthen support for NZ “start-ups”.
These incentives will be linked with Norman’s previously announced policy for a Green Bank.
This policy exists within, and references a raft of other Green Party policies, many of which focus on narrowing the inequality gap, eliminating poverty, and creating a more fair and inclusive NZ.