Budget to hit many: MP


MANY Papua New Guineans struggling to survive on low incomes will be badly hit by the 2018 Budget, according to Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch.
In the Opposition reply to the 2018 Budget tabled last week by Treasurer Charles Abel, Pruaitch said mismanagement of the economy had resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs involving single income families.
“The plight of these people will be worsened by a Government decision to impose an additional import tariff of 10toea per litre for imported diesel and petrol because importers are seen to be making super profits,” Pruaitch said.
“The cost of diesel in 2018 will rise by 23toea per litre because the government has also decided to align diesel and petrol prices.
“Starting next year, the excise on diesel will increase by 13toea every two years until the diesel excise reaches 61toea per litre to bring it on par with petrol.
“The price of everyday goods has already increased because of the unavailability of foreign exchange and a weaker kina.
“They will go up even more next year because of newly increased import duties on 280 categories of imported goods.”
Pruaitch said the budget would result in the least well-off in our society facing additional burdens because of the falling employment prospects and wide-ranging cost increases.
Pruaitch also said “the callous disregard these past five years for LNG landowner identification has also created a law and order time bomb that this Government continues to pretend does not exist”.
Pruaitch called the budget “fiscally irresponsible because of the continued over-dependence on an enormous, and still growing, public debt that is dragging down the nation’s economic potential”.