PNG’s first treasurer and current Governor for New Ireland Province Sir Julius Chan, has described the 2022 National Budget as flat and high on self-aggrandizement or self-entitlement. He said the budget was extravagant on expenditure but very poor on raising revenue.
He gave his view on the budget after calls from the public to shed insight into whether there was any practicality or truth in the K22 billion budget, passed by parliament last week.
“Not only did I not vote to pass the budget, I have no confidence what so ever in the current treasurer because of the experience my province is currently facing under his tenure as treasurer. He gives all the sweet talks but none of it is true. He has robbed New Ireland by withholding New Ireland money at the beginning of the year for four months, and broke down the New Ireland Governments foundation policy pillars, that existed for ten years. Now he is trying to cripple the nation in the same manner. So how can he run a country when his electorate is not in order?,” said Sir J.
He said Ian Ling Stuckey failed to address the immediate Economic woes facing the country and how the government will remedy it in 2022, instead talking about debt free PNG in 2027. “Why talk about 2027 when the debt problem needs to be solved now? Stuckey may not be around in 2027 to clean up his mess. My prediction is there will be a complete overhaul of the National budget after the National Elections next year. Never in the history of this nation have we ever experienced so many corrective budgets!,” said Sir J.
Sir J also remarked that Stuckey’s borrowing pattern is another concern along with uncontrollable expenditure by the Government. “ Again Stuckey has borrowed more than any other treasurer in the history of this country. All he is doing is making Papua New Guineans dig deep into their pockets and passing the burden onto our future generation,” remarked Sir J.
He also supported the Oppositions stance on the 2022 National Budget stating the introduction of the Super Tax on companies like the Bank of South Pacific and Digicel is a very poor decision and will have a reverse Robin hood effect on ordinary Papua New Guineans. “ Instead of taking from the Rich this government has seen fit to take from the poor, and give to the Rich. The burden will be shoved onto ordinary Papua New Guineans who depend on the services of these companies. These companies have managed to thrive on their own accord and disadvantaging them in such a manner is a draconian approach,” said Sir J.
Sir J questioned why the Government hasn’t looked to extract it’s Super Profit Tax from the Extractive Mining Industry? “ I can justify better sharing of the super profit in view of the sudden increase by over 800 US per ounce of gold, that should be shared. Not Robbing from the poor and giving to the Rich,” said Sir J.
He added that Marape’s decision to differ the Super Tax is a sign that he does not have confidence in the budget. The Prime Minister should go with his gut instinct and just cancel the Super Tax policy all together. The Government has its State Owned Enterprises, it can privatize these SOE’s and raise revenue from them. Make the SOE’s work for this country,” said Sir J.
Sir J also queried why all of a sudden the National Government put aside K50.9 million for the construction of the Boluminski Highway, twenty five years after the Lihir MOA was signed and the Highway already constructed through other funding.
“For now the Government has no choice but to let this unrealistic budget through and next year we will see a complete overhaul of the 2022 Budget,” said Sir J.