O’Neill describes 2024 Budget as ‘cruel’

Former Prime Minister and Member for Ialibu Pangia, Peter O’Neill is shocked that the cries of the people and even members of the ruling Government have been ignored in the 2024 Budget.

He said the 2024 Budget is more of the same of last year where the Treasurer promised the record spending would make our people’s lives better and our country safer.

“In 2023, despite the record taxes, spending and debt, we have endured one of the worst years in our history with people now experiencing outright poverty and violence on the increase.”

“We are being told by the Treasurer and PM all is well and to be excited about more of the same in 2024.”

“It is shameful and disappointing to see a Budget with record taxes and the same promises of last year that record spending will lead to improvements in law and order; health, education; employment – instead we have had increased crime; no medicines; kids having to pay teachers just to go to school and a cost-of-living crisis.”

O’Neill stressed that the people are pleading with the PM and Treasurer to stop the talk and see their struggles as they search for jobs that do not exist.

“Stand with the mothers in the line at clinics as they fight back tears when there is constantly no fever medicine for their babies.

“Understand the feeling of shame of fathers who cannot put a decent meal on the table for their families. Speak to our Church Pastors and leaders who are struggling to meet the needs of our people.”

“The Treasurer should tell the people how the record taxes you are collecting from them is going to curb the cost of living. Tell business large and small how the record budget is going to help them access foreign currency.”

The cries of our people need to be heard before it is too late, said O’Neill.

However, Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey when tabling the 2024 Budget in Parliament on Tuesday said things are getting better as the Government will continue to focus on delivering basic services to the people.

“But I know, that many in our community, do not feel, as if they are sharing, in such record growth and budgets.

“I know, that there are businesses that are still going bankrupt. I know, that there are still enormously, long queues for anyone that seeks a job in our cities. I know, that there are cost of living pressures, on our families and some, feeling hungry.

In his budget statement, the Treasurer further pointed out that the Government will continue with disciplined budget repair, with the aim to get back to a surplus by 2027, and the option of repaying all debt by 2034.

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