Somare: 2012 O'Neill-Namah government budget highly irresponsible

04/06/2012 20:50




The Treasurer, Don Poyle, has admitted theO’Neill-Namah 2012 budget faces a massive K500 million deficit that is destinedto become one of the most irresponsible budgets brought down by any PNG Government.

In a statement issued today, the MP for Angoram,Hon. Arthur Somare, said:

“It is astonishing that the Treasurer can publiclyannounce that PNG is facing the largest deficit in our history and, at the sametime, announce that the O’Neill-Namah Government did not intend to take any correctiveaction to tackle this looming financial crisis.

“It is time for Treasury Secretary Simon Tosali tosit down with his Minister to explain why it is impossible for the governmentto neither raise taxes nor cut government expenditure and yet, as Poyle putsit, to “live within our means”. Poyle is the one admitting we will be K500million out of pocket.

Mr Somare said Poyle and the O’Neill-Namah regimewere clearly intent on passing on problems arising from the record budgetdeficit to the incoming government in late July.

“What he has not been candid about is the likelihoodthat the economic crisis in Europe and the slowdown in the western world andelsewhere could further depress commodity prices. This would cause PNG’sdeficit to soar towards the billion kina level if no corrective action is taken,”he said.

Mr Somare said Poyle’s stance was highlyirresponsible and a reminder of the soaring deficit in the lead up to the 2002national election that was left to the Somare Government to manage.

He said: “A budget deficit that is spiralling out ofcontrol is only one of the problems an incoming government will inherit. As Iwarned in a media statement on April 23, the next government will also have tocope with the ‘creative accounting’ adopted by the O’Neill-Namah Government tohide vast amounts of overspending.

“Most people are already aware that O’Neill andNamah last year spent K500 million, for which there was no budgetappropriation, as a payback to supporters of the August 2 political coup andtheir cronies. Other vast sums that have been dished out have also not beenaccounted for.”


Hon. Arthur Somare MP

Member for Angoram