The opportunist who came & now must go
No meek, no rich: The gospel according to Phil

10% to churches, yes, but is the timing right?

Hands on
Jeff Febi - "Assisting church-run agencies by giving them 10% of the dividends from state owned enterprises is a noble move, but is the timing right?"


LUFA - The government's supplementary budget went big on expenditure cuts to plug a big dark deficit hole of about K4.6 billion.

This hole was dug by the government of former prime minister Peter O'Neill through creative but reckless spending on Port Moresby-centric infrastructure development.

Some urban centres throughout Papua New Guinea might have gained one or two infrastructure investments while others missed out entirely.

The current cuts in expenditure are justified. The country needs them so that the health of its future economy will be secure.

Also, talk on improving tax collections and investing in small to medium sized enterprises has created a rather positive vibe that has been lacking in PNG for some time.

While the government's effort to fix the economy is commendable, it has introduced a new way to spend.

And that is to assist church-run agencies (like schools and clinics) by giving them 10% of the dividends from state owned enterprises.

This is no doubt a noble move, but is the timing right?

Until the big black hole in our budget is plugged, the government cannot afford to create new ways to spend money the country desperately needs.

The government should have waited until 2021, by which time our economy would probably have recovered and there would be a greater capacity to increase spending.

The timing of this decision to push more taxpayers’ money to fund church-run agencies is not right.


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