OPPOSITION LEADER BLAMES PNG GOVERNMENT FOR HIGH INFLATION

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (December 28, 1998 - Post-Courier)---PNG continues to show a poor economic performance, with prices of goods and service reaching beyond the means of ordinary citizens, claims Deputy Opposition Leader Chris Haiveta.

In his Christmas message, Mr. Haiveta blamed the Government for the problems relating to high cost of living.

"The country continues to face a poor performance of its economy with prices of goods and services reaching beyond our means and affecting all of us throughout the country from formal income earners in urban centers, down to our average subsistence farmers and villagers,'' he said.

"These economic burdens have been a result of very poor and hasty decision making processes that the government of today has made. All these decisions have lacked little or no consultation and planning, and have not improved, at all, our key economic indicators to reflect positively any substantial achievements.

"Investors and businesses who have long associations with this country have packed up and closed their operations due to the uncertainty that surrounds our economic future and lack of confidence in our decision makers of today.'' Mr Haiveta said it was unfortunate that as leaders, they have failed miserably to meaningfully address the concerns and

needs of the people.

"1998 has been a year of controversies surrounding the government and its key figures. Many of these controversies, I should say, have not benefited the nation, but reflected on the type of leadership that currently directs the destiny of this nation,'' he said.

"Yet we see those seriously implicated hide behind political rhetoric and propaganda with much needed revenue spent on meaningless overseas trips and lavish shopping excursions,'' he said.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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