O’Neill clears air on funding: We can only give what we have


THE distribution of public funds depends on the country’s revenue, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.
He told parliament the Government did its best to honour all its commitment but everything depended on the revenue received.
O’Neill made the statement after East Sepik Governor Allan Bird asked for his functional grants under the 2017 budget.
Bird said East Sepik was supposed to receive K58mil but only received K13mil in grants.
He asked when would the outstanding K45mil be paid.
O’Neill said just because it appeared in the budget, didn’t necessarily guarantee that it would be paid.
“It actually depends on the revenue that the country makes,” he said.
Oro Governor Gary Juffa also called on O’Neill to provide information on which provinces had received their functional grants and which had not.
O’Neill said all public funding would be distributed fairly.
“It’s not about politics. It’s about the people, and all public funds will be distributed fairly to all provinces.”
O’Neill assured the two governors that he would direct the Minister of Treasury Charles Abel to address their concerns.