PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey, has said the O’Neill government’s mismanagement of the economy has crippled the nation’s cash flows.
“There is some bad news coming but this government has already commenced work on solutions,” Mr Ling-Stuckey said in a media release.
He said he had met recently with Western Highlands governor Paias Wingti to discuss the province’s budget for 2020 and recognised that the governor problems in having to cancel or delay vitally important development projects.
“I know other governors are facing the same problem,” he said.
“Unfortunately for the people of PNG, the economic mismanagement of the O’Neill regime has crippled our nation’s cash flows.
“Games played with the national budget in recent years means that it has been a fake budget.
“Wasteful spending, unrealistic revenue predictions and the out-of-control wages bill have all squeezed the cash flow for vital areas such as infrastructure development and health and education and agriculture.”
Mr Ling-Stuckey said the Marape-Steven government wants to ensure that all provinces receive the funding they need but poor national budgets have distorted development planning and service delivery.
“The starting point for good decisions is knowing the honest facts, he said. “Only then can we best plan the way forward, working at national, provincial and all other levels of government.
“Strong leadership means taking the tough decisions now to start climbing out of the huge budgetary hole left by O’Neill.
“These tough decisions are essential for creating a future filled with hope where none of our children are left behind.”