By GYNNIE KERO
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says Cabinet has approved the 2017 supplementary budget which will be tabled in Parliament on Sept 26.
The supplementary budget will be tabled by Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel. Some of the items expected to be addressed include boosts in medicine procurement, response to the coffee pod borer and more funding to the Department of Works.
“Cabinet has decided to support a supplementary budget to maintain the parameters of the 2017 Budget proper,” he said.
He said after a period of high economic growth spurred by the PNG LNG project construction phase, and sustained increases in Government spending, circumstances such as the collapse of the price of oil, the drought and a slowdown in global growth had dampened economic growth.
“The mid-year economic fiscal outlook report from Treasury has highlighted these emerging issues with a downturn in government revenues as well as an increase in public service wages, internet costs and rentals and rational of foreign currency.
“The supplementary budget maintains the 2.5 per cent deficit and 32 per cent debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio in the 2017 Budget proper by the deferral of the Service Improvement Programme and cuts to capital and recurrent budgets. The SIPs (DSIP/PSIP) are a very important pillar of our Government. However Cabinet has recognised the need for discipline during these tough times.”
By GYNNIE KERO