Cut to funds will be replaced, Abel says

National

FUNDING the service improvement programme (SIP) for provinces and districts is important to the government, MPs and the people of this country, deputy prime minister and Treasurer Charles Abel says.
Responding to questions by Northern Governor Gary Juffa on NBC Talk Back Show last week about reduction of the DSIP and PSIP funds as part of the 100-day plan, Abel said whatever was cut would be replaced.
“I’m an open member for a very big district of seven local level governments,” he said.
“I was able to do lots of development because of this SIP.
“I know many of the MPs and governors have been able to function and get things done for the first time at the district level because of this programme.
“There’s no doubt that this programme is at the heart of what this government is all about.”
Abel said the government had given K10 million a year and in 2015 it gave another K2.5 million with an average slightly above K10 million over the last five years.
“This year my hands are tied somewhat because I can’t cut tuition fee-free (education) and other things, if I have to cut SIP I have to cut it slightly,” he said.
“But whatever I cut I will have to replace it in subsequent years as I improve the revenue.
“It is our intention to start and to increase SIP even down to council ward level.
“The outlook for the economy is good. We need to adjust in the short term and because it’s difficult for me to cut in other areas which are basic essential services and fixed costs, I’ve got to flex where I can.”

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