Government and Opposition Comments on New ABS Report on BERD

September 14th, 2021

InnovationAus has cited a new ABS report finding that business expenditure on R&D (BERD) was $18.17 billion in 2019-20, slightly below the $18.32 billion that businesses spent in 2011-12 at today’s prices.

The article included comments from recently appointed Industry Minister, Christian Porter, noting that:

“The increase in business expenditure on research and development of 4.2 per cent to more than $18 billion during 2019-20 is encouraging to see, especially given it includes a significant period of time affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Porter said in a statement to InnovationAus on Sunday.

“It is also encouraging that this included an increase in expenditure on R&D in the manufacturing sector, particularly as we now rollout our $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy.”

The article also included comments from opposition Industry spokesman Ed Husic, who was of the view that the government had been slow to address industry concerns about the heavy-handed approach to compliance under the R&D tax incentive.

Swanson Reed has previously commended the government for passing the amendments to the R&D tax incentive in October 2020 (after backing down from previously criticised cuts) and for the government highlighting that they sought to use the R&D tax incentive to encourage companies to invest in R&D, as part of the broader plan for economic recovery.

We continue to call on both sides of politics to maintain stability of the R&D tax incentive, especially following a tumultuous decade in which the programme was subjected to constant actual and proposed changes.

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