PNG Parliament To Submit 2017 Budget Next Week

PM: "our Government will not do what previous Governments have done and try to buy re-election"

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, October 24, 2016) – The Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has forecast a "measured and cautious" 2017 budget to be handed down next week.

Parliament will meet for the last time this year starting tomorrow afternoon.

He said he was confident Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch will hand down a most thoroughly considered budget in the nation’s history.

Mr O’Neill said previous governments had sought to inflate spending ahead of a national election in order to increase votes.

He said his government had more respect for the people and will not go down such an irresponsible path.

"The good Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch and I have well over a decade of economic governance experience between us," Mr O’Neill said.

"We have been through the good and the bad times, and I know the Treasurer’s budget in 2016 will be the most thoroughly considered in the history of our nation.

"Our Government will not do what previous Governments have done and try to buy re-election, because we know that we will be re-elected on our merits and achievements over the past five years.

"The electors of Papua New Guinea today are a lot more sophisticated now than decades ago, and our citizens see through a sham and they know when politicians are spending money just to try and win votes.

"If any Government thinks they can spend their way to win an election they are gravely mistaken. We saw when MekereMorauta had sacked half of the public service then delivered a budget in 2001 that wasted money in an attempt to gain votes in 2002.

"The Morauta government was soundly defeated.

"Our Government has delivered one million more children into school, we have expanded universal healthcare and rebuilt our hospitals, and we are training more police.

"We have built more national infrastructure in the past five years, including airports, jetties, teachers colleges and administration buildings, than any Government in the past.

"Our Government will proudly stand before the people of our nation and ask them to judge us on what we have delivered."

He said the people of Papua New Guinea understand that global economic conditions are not favourable, and that the government is doing all it can to manage these foreign pressures.

"Our message is simple, the global economy has taken a massive downturn and so our national income is reduced.

"People can rest assured that this will not affect core policy areas and we will continue to fully fund free education ," he said.

PNG Post-Courier
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