“On behalf of the Leader of the Opposition and The Alternative Government of PNG, I wish everyone a wonderful 2018 filled with cheaper prices, more jobs, higher incomes, more export opportunities and much better access to government services,” said the Shadow Minister for Treasury and Finance, Ian Ling-Stuckey.
“The Alternative Government is capable of delivering APEC, much more workable SME initiatives and inclusive policies that will benefit citizens now coping with low incomes and severe levels of poverty,” said Mr Ling-Stuckey.
He said: “Unfortunately, the reality is that most families are facing major increases in the cost of living in 2018. The price of essential goods and services will be rising significantly, jobs especially outside the resources sector will continue to fall and service standards will decline.
“The National Government, with the support of the Manufacturing Council and other Besties, have organised massive increases in the cost of living. The 2018 budget includes major tariff increases for hundreds of every-day products. PNG families and businesses will feel the pain of these price increases in the face of declining incomes,” said the Shadow Treasurer.
“The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission has stated that diesel prices will increase by over 15% because of the last budget, on top of increases caused by rising crude oil prices.
“Another example of how the government is putting its hands deeper into the pockets of every PNG family is the massive increase in tariffs for dairy products such as milk and butter. My prediction is that milk prices will be above K6 per litre during 2018 because of a 25 percentage point increase in tariffs.
“In direct contrast, Minister Maru says milk prices will drop to K3 per litre – his promised 40 per cent drop from the current K5 per litre. Minister Maru has now staked his career on K3 per litre milk prices. This is what he has promised! I fear this will be just one of many broken promises by the National Government.
“PNG has gone down this deceptive path before. Promising cheaper price and more jobs but in the end PNG families and businesses will be faced with higher prices for most of their daily needs.
“The Alternative Government understands where PNG’s wealth resides – in its people’s diversity and richness, its extraordinary beauty and environment, the wealth of its resources and the fertility of its soils.
“We can be the farm for the rapidly expanding Asian region – this is the Opposition vision for 2018 and beyond,” said the Alternative Government’s Treasurer, Mr Ian Ling-Stuckey.
“We need international competition to expand our markets and improve our farming family’s futures, not major increases in prices for imported products which just helps government cronies.
“Our businesses need to grow with their vision on the market shelves of the Indo-Pacific region – there are more buyers in the markets of small areas of democratic India than in all of PNG. Our future markets should be aligned with this hope of cheaper costs of living and higher incomes for the people of PNG”.
“Let us look to a future, a future of inclusive growth, a democratic future in the Indo-Pacific region. Let us avoid protectionist policies which hurt families and undermine the trade liberalisation principles of APEC.
“K3 per litre or K6 per litre of milk – let PNG families be the judges during 2018 and hold the Government to account for its broken promises.
“The Alternative Government appreciates the dedication and efforts of the hard working and honest Ministers in the current Cabinet and wishes the Prime Minister and his Deputy & Treasurer, every success in the implementation of the 2018 Budget because the Opposition is of the firm belief the people of PNG deserve a far more effective Government,” said Mr Ling-Stuckey.
Shadow Minister for Treasury & Finance
31 December 2017