O’Neill describes IMF report as ‘nuisance’

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has described the latest report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as ‘rubbish’ and nuisance.

The IMF report noted that Medium-term growth is expected to converge to about 3 percent, supported by agriculture and preparations for the hosting of APEC 2018.

The Report stated that the Government plans to spend K3 billion over 2015-18 on the preparations for APEC 2018 (e.g., upgrading the airport).

Thus, 2018 will see a winding down of construction activity, with overall growth projected to slow down to 1½ percent in 2018 and stabilise at 3 percent over the longer term.

Inflation is also expected to stabilise at around 5 percent, which is in line with its 10-year historical average, as imported price inflation remains stable and domestic agricultural supply continues to expand.

However, O’Neill today in Parliament said “The amount mention by IMF is utterly rubbish, inaccurate and not true.”

“How can you spend K3b, when the country has only K12b budget every year?” O’Neill asked.

He said the Government always reflects the cost of APEC in every Budget.

He added that the Government is not crazy in dealing with the APEC costings.

“We know what we can afford and what we cannot afford.”

He said such misleading statements will create unnecessary debates based on innuendo and not facts.

O’Neill further reiterated that the only major expenditure the Government will be putting through is the K120m on the construction of the APEC Haus while the rest was about hosting meetings around the country.

He was responding to Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marat to justify the costing highlighted by IMF in its recent report.

Freddy Mou