DPM responds to Ling-Stuckey on tariffs

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Charles Abel, has responded to Ian Ling-Stuckey’s comments on tariffs, saying it would be great if the Shadow Finance Minister actually understood the facts before his continuous misleading outbursts in the media.

In an earlier analysis of tariff tax, Ling-Stuckey said over 70 new tax increases have been imposed by PNC from 1 January 2019.

This includes a 15 percent tax increase for wheat flour, additional tariff tax of K1.70 per kilogram on all imported fresh chicken pieces and a new 25 percent tariff on all creams, yogurt and ice-creams, including UHT milk.

However, in response, Abel said the tariff on flour only affects retail packaged imported flour.

“The main brands such as Flame and 3 Roses are imported in bulk wheat and processed onshore therefore prices are not affected. The tariff on milk is only being applied to fresh milk not UHT milk so prices have not been affected.

“The tariff on veneer and plywood have been in place for some years but the tariff codes had to be corrected in terms of rates applied.

“A relatively low tariff has been introduced on imported furniture and tinned fish to support the development of onshore investment and jobs, especially where we have the natural resources and existing local products.

“There are two large local producers of fresh chicken meat so prices should not be affected here. Papua New Guinea needs jobs and import replacement. The Government is utilising a range of policies to progress the local production of rice, wheat (for stock feed and flour), local beef and poultry meat and eggs, milk and other dairy products, tuna processing, power from gas and oil, cement, timber and furniture.

“If we don't give some support to local industry we will forever be importing our food, energy and exporting all our raw materials and jobs."

Abel further noted that when Ilimo Milk was launched on the February 2nd, 2018, it was priced at K6.50 per litre.

“Which was cheaper than all the imported UHT (not fresh) milk and half the price of imported fresh milk.

“Today, almost a year later, Ilimo Milk and imported UHT preserved milk are selling at K5.50 a litre in Pom while imported Pauls fresh milk is at K13.80.”

(Picture by Charles Abel on Alotau District Facebook page)

Press release