Budget undermined by unrealistic figures: Barker

The 2018 National Budget is undermined by unrealistic revenue figures.

That’s according to Institute of National Affairs Director, Paul Barker.

Barker said the 2018 Budget partially consolidates on the 100 Day Plan which, when introduced, sent positive signals.

However, the revenue figures which they presented last week is unlikely.

Speaking at the Deloitte 2018 PNG Budget Debate, Barker said the 100 day plan gave an indication of extra revenue generation, cutting expenditure on wasteful activities, encouraging growth through private sector confidence and addressing foreign exchange issue.

However, with many major extractive projects coming on board, he hopes there is not much reliance on the potential investment in-flows.

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Charles Abel, said the Budget does not take into consideration the new mining or LNG projects.

He added they have also been conservative in their projections of commodity prices.

Abel said much of the revenue is based on the return they intend to make with huge investments in the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) and PNG Customs to collect revenue stated in the budget.

He added that the Budget also took into consideration the opinions of the business community.

Meanwhile, Newcrest PNG Limited country manager, Peter Aitsi, says the 2018 Budget is stable.

He said the government stuck to its word by not introducing any new taxes which would have affected investment.

ANZ PNG CEO, Mark Baker, also said there is consistency shown by the Government to deal with the current economic situation.

He said while there are challenges, the Budget gives a realistic view on what should be done to address many of the current problems.

Many issues were discussed on the budget and how it would affect the business community such as taxes and the foreign exchange issue, and how the government was intervening.

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Cedric Patjole