Shadow Treasurer queries public servants’ pay cut

Shadow Treasurer Joseph Lelang is calling on the Government to explain the 5 to 10 percent cuts to wages of public servants around the country.

Lelang accused the Government of being unfair by penalising the innocent public servants to cover up for their incompetence in managing the country’s budget and public finances in a sound and sustainable manner.

He is calling on the Government, through the Minister for Public Services Wesley Nukundj, to explain why they are imposing the cuts on the public servants.

Lelang said Papua New Guineans are doing it tough right now and this is again another slap in the face of hard working public servants.

He added that it is simply a dis-incentive exercise designed to have the consequences of reducing productivity within the Public Service and further breed corruption.

Lelang stressed that it is not proper to cut wages when inflation has not fallen below the reduced wage level.

“The issue of public service productivity and dedication to delivery of Government policies in an affordable manner requires a complete understanding of the public service workforce,” he stated.

He said he does not see the connection between cutting wages of public servants and addressing productivity and employee dedication in the public service.

Lelang called on the Minister for Public Service to give time to the Special Parliamentary Committee on public service, headed by Northern Governor Gary Juffa, to complete their work so that a report is tabled in Parliament. The Juffa Report should provide the basis for carrying out a comprehensive set of reforms into the public service.

However, Minister Nukundj told this newsroom that the government aims to cut and reduce public services expenditure and the major cut chamber targeted is the personal emoluments powers enjoyed by heads of department.

Nukundj said majority of the functional activities of main state agencies are specified in the public General Orders.

Meantime, Shadow Treasurer Joseph Lelang said the Opposition will be pushing for cut on the wages of the Members of Parliament and not the public servants.

He said they stand ready to sacrifice their wages for the good of the country.

Freddy Mou