“Treasurer Abel caused a national embarrassment when he failed to turn up to his budget presentation at the Mining and Petroleum Investment conference in Sydney on Tuesday 4 December. This “no show” left the organisers scrambling for excuses as hundreds of delegates simply sat and waited early on the Tuesday morning. This was a time to build confidence in the PNG economy, a time to encourage investment, and a time to correct the errors made by Prime Minister O’Neill in his earlier presentation. Instead, there was just national embarrassment as the Treasurer didn’t show up” stated the Shadow Minister for Treasury & Finance Ian Ling-Stuckey.
“How can we project ourselves as a modern, professional economy to the rest of the world when we fail to meet even the most basic standards of politeness? There was not even a real apology – a late excuse that the Treasurer as Deputy Prime Minister couldn’t attend as the Prime Minister was also out of the country. If that was the case, that was known weeks ago. The government could have organised the Secretary of the Treasury to make the presentation instead. Or even have organised the Governor of the Bank of PNG to give a more detailed presentation on the economy. Or if the government had let the organisers know earlier, the organisers could have organised a panel discussion on the economy. Was the government trying to avoid a more independent assessment of how things were really going?” asked the Shadow Treasurer.
“Is the government now getting so embarrassed by the flip flop two-sided Treasurer, and his fake and misleading 2019 Budget as outlined in my Budget response on 20 November, that the government has gone into hiding? Even if the reality is that the O’Neill/Abel PNC’s economic record is going from bad to worse, at least the government should be polite enough to front up and try and defend its poor position” stated Mr Ling-Stuckey.
Shadow Minister for Treasury & Finance
9 December 2018