Potential repeated mistakes worry Opposition

The Opposition has raised concerns that the government might repeat its poor spending decisions in the 2018 National Budget.

The Government will hand down the Budget this week and the alternate government is worried the government will keep cutting key areas while still putting out the rhetoric that everything is fine.

Shadow Minister for Treasury and Finance and Kavieng MP, Ian Ling-Stuckey, said the 2018 budget needs to deal with the foreign exchange and job crises facing PNG.

“Frankly, we are concerned by the 2018 budget strategy which indicates the government is committing to deficits that are much larger each year than even contained in the other budgets.

“For example, last year’s budget aimed for a deficit of K700 million in 2021 – the 2018 Budget Strategy now targets K1,400 million – K700 million more,” Ling-Stuckey claimed.

He added that the Government must follow the right procedure and process by allowing the Opposition to debate the Budget before passing it in Parliament.

However, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, in a statement earlier, said in the 2018 National Budget, there will be a renewed focus on implementing a revenue system that is just, efficient and responsive to the needs of our country.
“We are not increasing taxes but ensuring it is fair for all who should pay tax,” stated the PM.
He said over the past five years, the Government had maintained positive economic growth despite a very challenging global environment.

“Our economic fundamentals remain sound, even when facing pressure, and continue to be maintained through careful and sensible management.”

(Ian Ling-Stuckey file pic)


Freddy Mou