Thankyou Mr Speaker,
At this stage, I haven’t had a chance, to go into the details, of the Economic and Debt Update, as it is a document that deserves close examination. I will do this tomorrow, or as soon as it becomes publicly available or if it should fall off the back of a truck. However, let me congratulate the new Prime Minister for ordering, that this Update be prepared. This is not an update that his new Treasurer wanted – we are still waiting for his Economic Rescue Plan. It is not an update wanted by former Treasurer Abel, to reveal his fake budgets and debt figures. It is not an Update wanted by Minister Maru, for his fake MTDP III. When I examine this new document from the new Treasurer, I really hope for the sake of the new Prime Minister and ofcourse, the people of PNG, it will not be, yet more fake figures. I am still extremely worried, that we do not know the full truth or the magnitude, of the economic mess left behind by the previous Oniell/Abel government! There are just too many conflicts of interest-meaning, the same ministers that are now appointed to fix the economy, are the same people, that created the mess, in the first place! I am very worried, we do not know if there is an old puppet-master, still pulling the strings and if it is true, that he is still behind the Prime Minister’s economic team?
Mr Speaker, my question is directed to the new Treasurer Basil.
- Treasurer, why didn’t you yesterday in Parliament, simply state that you had responsibility, for the Fiscal Responsibility Act or FRA? Why didn’t you simply admit that there had been an error, yet another error from you, and clearly claim responsibility, for one of your key priorities of fiscal policy? You just didn’t answer the question – you just simply didn’t step up to your new responsibilities as Treasurer. Treasurer, a better start would have been to definitively concede the mistake, take clear responsibility for the FRA, understand that it was actually, the Prime Minister himself, that coined the phrase “the Clowns of Crown!”
- Treasurer Basil, why is your Economic Update late? Our Prime Minister stated during his first visit to Lae, nearly 2 weeks ago, that you would announce the state of the economy and debt on Monday 24 June. Treasurer, you have started off, being late! Some would say just 2 days, but given the state of PNG’s economic crisis, still too late! Are you up to the job, according to your new performance agreement? Will you be as late as the former Treasurer, in delivering the so-called 100 Day Plan?
- Treasurer Basil, do you understand that the second most important piece of budget legislation, is the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA)? Modernising this Act in 2016, was a key achievement of our new Prime Minister, James Marape. Incase your also late, in reading your Brief, this Act sets out responsibilities for the Treasurer and the Minister for Finance. The Treasurer should be listed, as having clear responsibility, for the relevant parts of this act (such as sections 2, 3A, 4A, 23, 35 and 36) in the Ministerial Responsibility Determinations. Once again, there is confusion in the job statement for the new Treasurer. However, old Treasurer Abel, is listed as having full responsibility for the entire Act! What is going on? Treasurer, please provide an explanation now-or simply admit, your new, inexperienced, still don’t know what your doing and simply, SNAFUed! Or is this another typo? Another uncorrected error? Or, another sinister play behind the scenes, from the ever present puppet-master, your former boss, undermining and embarrassing the Prime Minister and our new government, yet again?
Thank you Mr Speaker
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TREASURY & FINANCE 26 June 2019