“Since 2019 Callaghan Innovation has wasted $5.2 million of taxpayer money by doling it out to failed organisations. The corporate welfare gravy train isn’t helping everyday Kiwis and needs to stop,” says ACT’s Research, Science and Innovation spokesperson James McDowall.

Written Parliamentary Questions answered by Minister Ayesha Verrall show that $5.2 million was given to businesses that didn’t succeed. Despite being able to initiate a clawback, only $20,000 has been returned.

“This is just wasted taxpayer money. When the Government tries to pick winners, taxpayers are the losers.

It’s easy to be kind when you’re spending other people’s money. But ultimately everything the government spends needs to be taxed from productive Kiwis. Giving billions in corporate welfare has meant that we can’t get taxes under control.

“A successful economy is one in which resources flow to their most valuable uses. Taxing successful businesses and giving it to unsuccessful businesses only makes us poorer.

“Ruapehu Alpine Lifts has paid millions of dollars in tax. Under Labour and National, it nearly went broke and had to go cap in hand for some of its tax back in the form of a bail out. Under ACT, everyone would simply pay less tax, with a simple two-rate tax system of 28 and 17.5%.

“ACT’s alternative Real Change budget would scrap:
- The Provincial Growth Fund
- Callaghan Innovation
- The R&D tax credit
- Domestic and international film subsidies.

“These various schemes represent attempts by ministers to ‘pick winners’. They undermine market incentives and favour glamorous projects over those which can generate real economic growth.

“ACT would return these funds to New Zealanders to spend how they see fit, allowing the businesses which best serve New Zealanders’ needs to thrive.

“We would instead reform the regulatory barriers facing many of the firms who receive these subsidies. Such reforms are likely to generate much better outcomes for these firms than limited government funding.”

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