PM clarifies police budget cut

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has given his reason as to why the budget for law and order was cut by K50 million – a fall from K308 million to K258 million.

“We’ve got some issues in the police modernisation program that was one area that was cut, because some questions need to be answered about how the program is going, whether we are achieving the targets of police housing and modernising all our police stations around the country and equipping them properly.

“In fact, we spent hundreds of millions of kina in that project so those are areas we need to tighten up.”

However, the PM said the cut should not be taken literally.

“Don’t take the cuts literally as if it’s the end of all the law and order programs in the country.

“We just need to manage the resources we have in a responsible manner.”

He conveyed that law and order has gotten up to 20 percent of the allocations through district and provincial programs.

He said when his government framed the budget, the assumption on commodity prices were very low.

“Today’s prices are much higher, example oil price today is about 63 dollars per barrel, our budget projection was based on 51 dollars per barrel,” stated O’Neill.  

“Every sector needs money, that’s a fact.

“And they need increased money, health, education and law and order, infrastructure but as the revenue improves in our economy in our country, we will certainly be re-allocating funds in those key priority areas.”

Meredith Kuusa