Funding of regions a boost for services


THE government has given priority and attention to sub-national governments by empowering provincial and local-level governments with funding, Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel says.
Abel told Parliament in response to questions by Finschhafen MP Renbo Paita about councillors not being paid over 18 months that this was being delivered through the services improvement programme (SIP) funds.
“The funding that is going down to the provincial and local-level government is unprecedented and well documented,” Abel said.
“Little things like village court magistrates’ pay, church health services bringing their pay up to parity with the public service and doubling the allowances given to councillors are all part of this empowerment.
“We will deliberate on it in the coming budget, the continuing intention to provide the wards SIP funding right down to WDC (ward development councillors) level for them to perform their minimum functions.
“There is an outstanding commitment there, information to their allowances, and I want to tell Parliament and the nation that some funding was released last week.”