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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

PM O’Neill Welcomes Debate on Economic Issues – Papua New Guinea has a Positive Story to Tell

The Prime Minister has welcomed a series of Parliamentary questions from the Opposition in relation to the national economy, but urged the Opposition to be careful in checking their facts.
In a break from petty politics that had tarnished Parliamentary debate over many months, the Prime Minister said debate on economic issues was important as Papua New Guinea has a positive economic story to tell.
“The facts are that the economy is growing, and that is obvious to anyone who wants to be honest,” the Prime Minister said.
“Look around you, the country is changing and the country is developing.
“We are facing challenges like all economies right now with lower commodity prices, but our economy is in a much stronger position that some people want to admit.
“There is no need for people to talk the economy down and hurt jobs.”

The Prime Minister made the point that he and the Treasurer, Hon. Patrick Pruaitch MP, have been managing Papua New Guinea’s economy between them for almost ten years and this has delivered results.
“The fundamentals of our economy are strong and we are attracting investment to our country.
“This is different to the years before in the previous Government where government assets were mortgaged and we lost our share in Oil Search.
“We paid the highest interest rate to a company that was of great concern at the time, but now the Opposition continues to criticise the loan facility that the Government has taken with UBS.
“The loan we have taken is through a globally respected company at a very favourable interest rate.
“There has been enough criticising this loan for which the court has ruled that the Government obtained through proper means.
“Without this loan we would continue to be bystanders in our own resources sector and this Government has put an end to this process.”
The Prime Minister said the Government has a very clear focus on policy areas that matter to the nation instead of misaligned and uncoordinated policies of past decades.
“Our priorities as a Government are simple, because we cannot continue to have all sorts of agendas all over the place that have never delivered for our economy.
“Over the past five years our Government has focused on delivering in education, in expanding healthcare, in promoting law and order and in delivering infrastructure and advancing economic growth.
“We have maintained our focus and not been distracted.
“Our Government is spending 2 billion Kina each year on education.
“This level of spending on education is unprecedented in the history of Papua New Guinea, and is creating a new generation of educated people who will be able to have better jobs.
“Since 2011 we have been fully funding our health plan and intervening so that we strengthen the referral hospitals around the country.
“More people are healthy today and more lives are being saved because of this.
“Throughout the districts, the DSIP funds are providing investments in healthcare at a local level where people know what they need.
“Our national government programs are aligned with local level requirements and this is delivering for our people.”
The Prime Minister welcomed the debate saying it is not easy to fix problems that have grown over 40 years, but he seeks ongoing sensible discussion on the floor of the Parliament.
“As a Government we will give credit where it is due and we will expect the opposition to do the same.”

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 1:44 PM. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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