Government

Solomons opposition accuses govt of bribery

The government of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is facing a vote of no confidence in parliament next week, after a series of defections from the government.

Mr Sogavare on Thursday announced moves to consolidate his coalition government, announcing eight new ministers.

But in a statement, the opposition group said that consolidation had included attempts at bribery.

It accuses the forestry minister Bradley Tovosia of trying to bribe MP Alfred Ghiro with cash and the fisheries portfolio, which he rejected.

     

Fresh push in New Caledonia to end political stalemate

Sonia Backes of the Caledonian Republicans suggested that the rival anti-independence groups in Congress choose another presidential candidate than Philippe Germain, given his repeated rejection.

Mr Germain has failed twice in two months to secure a majority among the 11 ministers making up the government when they met to elect a president.

Ms Backes said a more conciliatory person needs to be presented as a candidate, suggesting another minister Bernard Deladriere.

She said furthermore there have to be changes to the government's economic policies.

Agriculture secretary hails govt commitment

“I think the Government has finally got it right because in the last 30 years, we have been investing in mining and LNG but nothing was happening.    

“I thank this Government for putting agriculture as number one economic priority,” Dr Vele said.

Dr Vele revealed that in the Alotau Accord II, the Government prioritised agriculture, tourism and infrastructure compared to the previous term where the Government placed emphasis on education, health and infrastructure. 

Special committee needed to tackle taxation issue

He said the current tax regime is very hostile to Papua New Guineans and genuine investors with PNG’s tax rates currently the highest in the Pacific.

Juffa claimed that a significant portion of illegal and semi illegal businesses are earning profits, especially in the forestry and fisheries sectors as well as property and other poorly regulated businesses.

He added that such illegal entities are avoiding taxes and getting away with it, leaving the shortfall to be met by genuine investors like PNG SMEs and PNG wage earners.

​PM appoints full cabinet

They were sworn in by Governor-General Bob Dadae around 4pm.

The table contains the names of Ministers with their portfolios:

 

MINISTER

PORTFOLIO

Alternative government leaders confident to form new government

Party leaders and representatives from the former opposition parties/ranks together with the National Alliance Party are happy to join forces again.

They acknowledged that the collective experience of the various groups and positive influences that come with it will bolster nationwide support for a change in government to arrest and stabilize our spiraling economic downfall and ever-declining social ills.

​PM welcomes NA’s withdrawal

“The decision has been expected for some time, and the party continuing in the Government would have been hypocritical considering recent outbursts by some members,” the Prime Minister said.

“We thank them for their support over the past five years and their commitment to the policies and economic decisions of the Government.

“The policies of the PNC-led Government are the policies that NA members voted for and supported in Parliament.

Somare condemns media report

Somare was quoted in Loop PNG claiming that “The plight of the Gulf people's LNG benefit is not the work of the government.”

However, he said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s Government has continuously breached the PNG LNG Projects’ 2009 UBSA and LBBSAs and has failed to deliver the entitlements and rights of the Beneficiary Group Landowners as secured in the UBSA Benefits Package by impacted landowners and provincial governments in May 2009.

“Unlike any other provinces, Gulf Province has two LNG projects and potentially an absolutely fantastic prospect for the future.

8% growth rate since 2012

Treasury Secretary, Dairi Vele, said this today at the 2017 Leaders Summit when presenting an overview of the Governments economic performance over the last five years.

Vele said the Government must be commended for achieving this growth between 2012 and 2016.

He added inflation through the same period has been on an average of 5 per cent which was manageable and within the accepted range  for businesses to operate.

The revenue outlook however remains low and will only begin to increase once major investments or projects kick in.

Govt will foster equality in departments

In his International Women’s Day speech on Wednesday, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said: “We can be proud that today we have more women in senior roles than at any other time in our history.

“These are women as departmental heads and through staffing ranks, and in our judiciary.

“But this is not enough and continuous action speaks louder than words.”

The PM says we are seeing positive change in our schools, with the number of girls receiving an education continuing to grow.