MEDIA STATEMENT
Sunday 5 May 2019

The Shadow Attorney General and Member for Sinasina Yonggomugl, Kerenga Kua expressed outrage at the suffering imposed on Papua New Guineans under the leadership of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill over the last seven years.

Mr Kua said “Prime Minister O’Neill claims to have invested in infrastructure on the promise of increasing the wealth of Papua New Guineans. Yet we are all still waiting for this growth dividend. All I can see is an enormous amount of government debt that has built up to fund non-revenue generating projects. Nogat kaikai blo ol gavman project i kamap, traipela dinau tasol.”

Mr Kua whilst commending the National Statistical Office for releasing the 2016 GDP numbers last month was dismayed to note that per capita non-resource GDP had fallen.

He said, “I am shocked to see that the Government’s official statistics show that average income of our people has fallen in recent years under Prime Minister O’Neill. Our people are struggling to make ends meet, to put food on the table, to pay school fees, to clothe their families, to pay for basic medicines and to find jobs.”

Mr Kua explained using a chart that showed average income of Papua New Guineans GDP divided by the population size. He stated “Yes, total GDP has grown but we know that resource income is being used to pay for project debt and most of dividend income goes offshore to foreign investors in these large projects. If we remove resource sector income we are left with a truly shocking and disturbing result that average income of Papua New Guineans has been falling”

Mr Kua added, “Not only has average income fallen from 2014 to 2016, the O’Neill Government actually estimated that it fell in 2017 and 2018 and expects it remain unchanged this year. Average income is one measure of the living standards and it shows that the Government that claims to invest so much is actually wasting and misusing our people’s money. The Government is not helping Papua New Guineans, it is imposing more suffering on them.
Mr Kua challenged Prime Minister O’Neill to admit he has failed. “Your own official numbers show you are failing and that you will continue to fail.

“It is time for new leadership. Leadership that is honest. Leadership that respects the rule of law. Leadership that is ethical. Leadership that above all puts Papua New Guineans interest first.”

Kerenga Kua MP
Shadow Attorney General
& Minister for Justice & Attorney General