2018 National Budget

PM clarifies police budget cut

“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.

Govt in talks to secure US$100m loan

Acting Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel, accompanied by some Ministers and government officials, met with World Bank officials on Wednesday in Port Moresby to discuss a way forward.

Treasurer Abel explained that the funding will not be for any specific program but to support the 2018 Budget.

He added that the Government will also be working alongside other agencies like the IMF for a short and longer term support through the Budget.

Opposition maintains stance on ‘fake’ budget

In a joint statement, the Opposition reaffirmed that the 2018 Budget was ‘fake’ and was not passed unanimously; no votes were taken.

The Opposition maintains that revenue figures quoted by Treasurer Abel for 2017 were based purely on estimates in the Supplementary Budget and Budget Strategy paper, which were up to K408 million lower in the final tally. 

Shadow Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey said the final figures, to be released by the end of March, will most likely show an even larger drop in revenue. 

2018 budget stable, consistent: Private sector

During a panel discussion of the Deloitte 2018 Budget Breakfast Debate, it was stated that despite the challenges, there was stability and consistency.

Newcrest PNG Limited country manager, Peter Aitsi, said the stability was due to the non-introduction of new taxes.

“There are no new taxes in there which is great and it’s keeping to their promise that the Government made last year in terms of giving back some confidence to the economy and investors.”

ANZ PNG CEO, Mark Baker, said consistency was shown by the Government to deal with the current economic situation.

Budget undermined by unrealistic figures: Barker

That’s according to Institute of National Affairs Director, Paul Barker.

Barker said the 2018 Budget partially consolidates on the 100 Day Plan which, when introduced, sent positive signals.

However, the revenue figures which they presented last week is unlikely.

Speaking at the Deloitte 2018 PNG Budget Debate, Barker said the 100 day plan gave an indication of extra revenue generation, cutting expenditure on wasteful activities, encouraging growth through private sector confidence and addressing foreign exchange issue.

2018 budget based on commonsense: PM

“When we formed the Government in Alotau, we promised to deliver stable and sensible administration, and you can see that commitment evident in this budget,” the Prime Minister said ahead of the tabling of the budget by the Treasurer in Parliament this week.

“In this budget there will be no cuts to our core national priorities, particularly education and healthcare.

“We will deliver a productive and safe APEC summit in 2018 through modest expenditure that builds capacity and leaves legacy in our Government agencies.