Budget ignores health, education: Analysts

National, Normal

THE 2010 National budget has been criticised for neglecting the health and education sectors.
The K7.5 billion money plan was handed down last Tuesday by Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch.
He described it as a “balanced budget”, based on strong economic growth fuelled by high commodity and
mineral prices.
However, many analysts say it is too focused on the expected revenue from the construction of the ExxonMobil liquid natural gas project, and has failed to address existing problems.
The CEO of Kina Securities, Syd Yates, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat programme that health and education appear to have been overlooked once again.
“Over the last 10 years key health indicators have shown there’s been little or no improvement in health status,” Mr Yates said.
“You know, we’ve got less than 50% of kids going to school so I think they could spend more.
“But in reality, I don’t think there’s a lot of money going around, especially with a balanced budget.”
Three percentage points of that GDP is expected to be contributed by the construction of the Exxon Mobil-led LNG project, which begins production in 2013.
However, David Caradus from PriceWaterhouseCoopers in PNG, told Radio Australia that revenue was not guaranteed.
“They’re going to be relying on the LNG project, contractors and their employees and commodity prices maintaining a higher level,” he said.