Be happy with funding: Abel


Members of Parliament must be grateful that for the first time in many years they are receiving money at the district level, Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel says.
Responding to questions by Member for Anglimp-South Waghi Joe Kuli, Abel said it was very challenging to come up with a basis for fair funding for everyone.
“Anglimp-South Waghi is a big district not geographically but in terms of population. Many of our districts are faced with similar challenges. If I can talk about Talasea, it’s got big population and also a bigger area.” Abel said.
“There are many factors that go into the cost of service delivery and population is important, but you have remote geography and our people are spread throughout the district and it’s very challenging on how to come up with the basis to provide fair funding for everyone.
“We should be grateful in the first instance that we are actually receiving money down to the district level for the first time since independence.
You are getting that K10 million which is significant amount of funding so if you are accumulating that over five or 10 years, it’s a lot of money coming out at the first instance,” Abel said.
The second thing is to continue to work towards the situation where you receive a fair amount because of the cost of service delivery to you.
“National Economic and Fiscal Commission is already doing that in terms of the functional grant for provinces.
“They are doing on the basis of what it actually costs for a province to deliver services to its minimum priority areas and the population that it has.
“One of the solutions is to activate the Boundaries Commission to ensure that all the relevant political areas have a similar population area.
“A very important aspect of the Boundaries Commission is the redistribution of boundaries to maintain a similar population per district.
“When you have political boundaries aligned the funding can flow and it can match and help in that regard,” Abel said.