Solomon Islands Opposition Says Country 'On The Brink Of Bankruptcy'

Former Central Bank governor Hou says cash flow problem is getting worse

By Aatai John

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 29, 2017) – The country is on the brink of bankruptcy, Opposition spokesman on finance Rick Hou warned, Wednesday.

The former Central Bank governor issued the warning as the country’s cash flow problem deepens.

“The government’s failure to stop wastage of funds on unnecessary spending will seriously affect basic service delivery,” Mr Hou told reporters in a press conference.

“What the government is doing now is entertaining cronyism by dishing out payments to commitments that were un-budgeted for,” he added.

“A good example of this is the payments given out to the ex-militants and failure to allocate funds for their statutory obligations to hold elections this year for Choiseul province.”

Mr Hou also warned that fraudulent practices within the government line ministries and Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) continue despite the existence of task force Janus to crack down on corruptions.

He said poor management and bad practices in the process to take custody of public fund remain a big problem that government fails to address.

Furthermore, he reminded the government to stop unnecessary overseas trip.

“Allowing more overseas trips will only worsen the government’s already cash flow problem.

“In fact the cash flow trend is heading down the bottomless pit and if nothing is done about the problem to stop the leakage of funds, we will continue to slide down.”

The Small Malaita MP further stated that the abuse of scholarships by Members of Parliament (MP) who increase the number of recipients beyond the ministry’s budget, is an issue the ministers of Finance and Education need to seriously look into.

He said the unbudgeted for scholarships are one of the major contributing factors to the current cash flow problem.

Mr Hou said the government sponsored probably more than 10,000 students both at home and overseas.

Solomon Star
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