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2017 budget passed, House rises, Opposition decries budget as hoax

Parliament has passed the 2017 national budget after a lengthy debate this evening.
The K12.9bn budget was passed with an absolute majority vote of 75 members.
No one voted against the budget.
Members of the Opposition had boycotted the vote, walking out of the chamber before the vote was taken.
The Opposition has described the budget as a hoax.
Leader Don Polye in the Oppositions' reply to the Governments' money plan, says its a deceptive budget, cleverly devised to hide the true picture of the country's economy.
He told Parliament this afternoon, the budget figures and statistics are not reflective of the true situation.
Mr Polye says, more than half of the budget will go towards repaying the Government debts, and the people will suffer the most.
"Mr Speaker the O'Neil government's budget figures and statistics have been carefully concocted and creatively presented to embellish the service to create the illusion of delivering development programs for our people.
"Mr Speaker, the O'Neil-Dion government's budget is all fraudulent.
"The 2017 is yet another scam, a deceit that only perpetuates the trend of deception that has become an entrenched chronic culture of any Peoples National Congress party led government.
"The 2017 budget is fraudulent and robs the people of resilient and sustainable economy."
The Opposition also says the budget does not offer any permanent solution to addressing the rising inflation.
Inflation in 2016 is expected to be 6.6 per cent higher than the 2016 budget estimate of 5.7 per cent, and is projected to increase to around 7.0 per cent in 2017.
Mr. Polye says the Government should create an influx of hard foreign currency and business into PNG to address the issue.
But Mr Polye says, that is missing in the 2017 budget.
"The Opposition is very concerned that the government is taking a very relaxed, a complacent approach to this interesting trend of inflation.
"The effects of a rising inflation is that the Kina depreciates more and faster hence the cost of imports is much higher and consequently discourages local production and export of PNG made produce.
"This in turn continues to put upward pressure on inflation making life more miserable and less affordable for ordinary Papua New Guineans.
"The ordinary Papua New Guineans, they are the first ones to suffer immediately."
The 9th Parliament has risen shortly after 7 pm tonight, after passing the 2017 national budget.
Finance Minister and Leader of Government Business, James Marape moved the motion that the House stands adjourned until next year.
Acting Speaker, and Maprik MP, John Simon announced that Parliament will rise until Tuesday, 24th of January 2017.

NBC /PNG Today
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