Opposition prepares to debate about budget

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By REBECCA KUKU
PARLIAMENT will debate the 2019 Supplementary Budget to be tabled by Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey when it meets today.
Leader of Government Business Rainbo Paita told The National that Ling-Stuckey would table a few treasury bills before the supplementary budget.
Prime Minister James Marape had earlier said the Government would slash the Provincial Service Improvement Programme (PSIP) fund, District Service Improvement Program (DSIP) fund and “wastage” in the public service.
The Treasury Department for the first time conducted a review this year with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to establish what the country’s revenue and expenditure are.
He said “we as the Government wanted to be transparent with the numbers”.
Opposition Leader Belden Namah said the five Opposition MPs were looking forward to the debate on supplementary budget.
He hopes that law and order will be one of the priority issues captured in the budget.
“The Opposition is looking forward to working with the Government to address law and order issues in the country and we hope that it will be one the key subjects in the supplementary budget,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Minister for National Planning and Deputy Party Leader of the People’s National Congress Party Richard Maru was seated alone in the back row of the Opposition benches in Parliament yesterday.
Paita said Maru and leader of the People’s National Congress Party Peter O’Neill had been allocated seats in the middle benches. But due to the increase in government MPs, the middle bench was moved towards the Opposition side.
“With the integration of the National Alliance Party into the Government, our number has grown. So we (Government) now occupy the space that was initially allocated for the middle benches.
“The middle benches have now been moved to the Opposition side. They will now be seated at the back of the Opposition,” he said.
O’Neill is expected to attend Parliament today.

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