“The largest change in the 2019 National Budget was a transfer of K1,080 million from the Provinces to the “Administrative” sector. This is a clear Waigani grab for power at the cost of our Provinces and Districts. Too much of PNG’s money has already gone to an expensive, Port Moresby centred APEC. Now the government steals another K1 billion available for rural people and pulls it back to the capital, seemingly-all under the power of the Minister for Implementation and Rural Development. This is another very treachous part of this dangerous and deceptive budget” stated the Shadow Minister for Treasury & Finance Ian Ling-Stuckey.
“This is not a Governor’s Budget, it is a Minister’s Budget. This is not a District Budget, it is a Minister’s Budget. One of the Prime Minister’s bestie Ministers is going to be given even greater administrative control to decide if you will get any funds for your local programs. We are even having the PNG Treasury now tell us how much we can spend on education or infrastructure or health for our people setting minimum and maximum limits, irregardless of whether these are sufficient or not for the health and education sectors! While the Prime Minister does deals promising increased autonomy to a few that supported the formation of his government, he then steals this autonomy through centralised funding.This is called FLIP-FLOP 2 FACED POLITICS” stated the Shadow Treasurer.
“What a see-saw PNG has been on between the central government and provinces over the decades! Power entrenched in Port Moresby, but sweet promises for the Provinces. There were some good actions to give actual power to the Provinces and Districts under the National Alliance Government. The increase in PSIP and DSIP was also welcome, if managed honestly and competently. Now we are witnessing yet another broken promise.
“All Governors and Members of Parliament need to seriously reflect on whether they are willing to support this centralised, Prime Ministers’ grab for power using his Ministers as puppets. The Alternative Government certainly is not and depending on the outcome of the Governors meeting held today, there may have to be serious considerations to take affirmative steps to restructure the budget next tuesday” stated Mr Ling-Stuckey.
Shadow Minister for Treasury & Finance
15 November 2018