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Greens pledge $100m for cleantech fund

The Greens are promising to establish a $100 million startup fund for cleantech projects and boost central government R&D funding by $1 billion in the next three years.

The Greens are promising to establish a $100 million startup fund for cleantech projects and boost central government R&D funding by $1 billion in the next three years.

Co-leader Russel Norman said the performance of the SME sector was a critical component of a green economy.

"To strengthen the domestic market for green innovation, the Green Party will rewrite government procurement and certification processes to favour New Zealand-made, environmentally sustainable goods and service," he said.

"By greening government procurement policies, local SMEs will face incentives to rapidly innovate to secure lucrative government contracts. Once secured, those SMEs will have a base from which to export their same clean technology solutions overseas."

The party also pledges to simplify tax compliance for small businesses.

"Small businesses with small annual turnovers spend a lot of time and money on tax compliance," he said.

SMEs would have the option of paying taxes on a simplified cash basis on their GST returns – and for even smaller businesses, company tax can be based on turnover.

The proposals are in line with those proposed by the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and could reduce tax compliance costs by up to a third, Norman said.

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