By MALUM NALU
THE public service wage bill is expected to increase to 34 per cent of the National Budget this year from 26 per cent, according to Finance Minister James Marape.
He said at the public service dedication service at the Sir John Guise Indoor Stadium in Port Moresby yesterday the 150,000 public servants (in the country) only made up 1.9 per cent of the eight million population.
“Every fortnight, (Treasury) Secretary (Dairi) Vele, (Finance) Secretary (Dr Ken) Ngangan, Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari, and me, as part of the team, try to look for K130 million to ensure that the number one expenditure of Government comes good – your payroll is met without fail,” Marape said.
“You multiply K130 million by 26 – that equates to K3.38 billion per year.
“You deduct that from the K13 billion budget we passed for this year.
“That equates to 26 per cent of the total Government expenditure for 2017 fiscal year.
“Secretary Vele tells me that the first wage bill of this year has now increased from K130 million to K170 million.”
Marape said this equated to more than 30 per cent – in fact as high as 34 per cent, of the budget.
“So, for a population base of under 2 per cent, we consume 34 per cent – we meaning yourselves and myself – of our country’s money.
“Last year, we consumed 26 per cent.”
By MALUM NALU