Expect bad news: Ling-Stuckey

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TREASURY Minister Ian-Ling Stuckey, pictured, says the budget prospects for this year are extremely difficult and to “expect bad news”.
“But I will soon be announcing fiscal changes to get the country’s financial and economic growth back on track. The announcement will include releasing updated medium-term fiscal plans as part of the 2020 Budget strategy, as well as a Supplementary Budget by Oct 8.
“The correct figures need to be established to make informed, accurate and correct decisions for the economy to get going again,” he said in a media statement yesterday.
He said Papua New Guinea (PNG)’s annual budgets, debt levels and national account figures had been of public concern for some years.
“We need to address PNG’s rapid blow-out in public debt, actions to fix our foreign exchange crisis which is seriously damaging businesses, actions to stop the decline in PNG’s economic governance position, and actions to stop the deterioration in living standards for most people in PNG.
“A rapid ‘due diligence’ check of the Government’s fiscal position had been conducted by a team comprising officers from the Treasury, other economic ministries and my economic team.
“We have worked tirelessly for seven days to provide a new view of our economic situation. The due diligence view included modernising to international standards the way we measure public debt and Gross Domestic Product.
“We are also taking a realistic, rather than an optimistic, view of likely revenue and expenditures in 2019.
“PNG’s budget position is in an increasingly fragile fiscal position compared to July’s 2019 mid-year economic and fiscal outlook. With the International Monetary Fund (IMF) already undertaking a review of PNG’s budget, the IMF was given access to the due diligence findings
“Within a few days, the IMF has already been able to indicate that it is broadly comfortable with the due diligence figures and that the new figures are within the ballpark.
“As already lamented by the premier, there are bad news coming. There will be cuts to provincial and district services improvement programmes (PSIP and DSIP). With these new numbers, the depth of the (Peter) O’Neill regime’s economic mismanagement will finally be revealed. We will finally know how deep a hole has been dug for this country by the former prime minister. This is not a blame game. Accepting bad news is the start to fixing the problems.”
“I am exploring urgent options to bring relief to cash flows and foreign exchange shortages. I have taken action to mobilise international finance to support the Marape-Steven Government’s new agenda, including innovative budget support options from Australia initiated by the prime minister, and actions to build confidence in our budget figures by working with the IMF.”

2 comments

  • Way to go Hon. Ling-Stuckey. Please expose those figures which were initially meant for public scrutiny but were never seen in the last seven years. Papua New Guinea needs to know where it is standing in this trying economic times. The Churches and the Body of Christ right across the country needs to know these situations so that they can specifically commit the government of the day to the Good Lord for deliverance in every areas of the government. In doing so, the country will gain grounds in its endeavor to Take back PNG. God Bless PNG.

  • Good Morning ,the Ministers fact finding PNG financial situation is real and interesting for the fact PNG is a growing economy with very little economic base compared to developing economies around the world. the conduct of your diagnostic test to find out the real bases of what has been happening is interesting . the financial advisers must be equally be blamed for knowingly doing this to the GOVT. the optimistic opinion misled everyone against the real world of income against expenditure .
    Keep up Minister in what you are doing .

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