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Opposition to seek supreme court interpretation on 2017 National Budget

The 2017 National Budget has been passed with a 75 to nil vote on voices, but the Opposition will be taking the matter to court over allegations of the budget being a fraud.
In a press conference after the parliament session last night, the Opposition Leader Don Polye and his team announced that they have resolved to file an application with the Supreme Court today to get the court’s interpretation on the budget that was passed.

This is because there was confusion on the actual amount of the budget passed. When the Treasurer handed down the budget on the 1st of November, the figure was K12.9billion on the budget handset and was also in the budget speech statement; however, in the appropriation bill speech last night as observed by the opposition, the figure was K21.4billion.
The appropriation bill is the bill before parliament to pass and the bill speech is to explain the actual bill which indicated the different figure.
“That means when the parliament passed the budget, it didn’t pass the K12.9billion but passed a K21.4billion budget.”

“This is a very serious issue and the government needs to clarify the figures, but the government failed to do that,” Polye said.
“The opposition walked out in protest that there was a major error, discrepancy, a fraud in the budget figures and the budget itself, so we are taking this action on behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea.”
“We are taking this action to stop the government from implementing the budget and to correct the budget in the next parliament session before we go for election,” he said.
The Opposition is calling on the government to halt everything first and clarify these figures because the consequences will be great.
Pictures: Opposition members at the press conference in parliament last night
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