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O'Neill-Abel Government is Desperate for Your Money, You Won't Believe How They Will Take It From You

Statement  by PNG Opposition

# Huge 25 percent tarrifs on goods!!
# Massive "Hidden Tax" strategy, includes even Toilet paper and detergent.
# Average PNG shoppers, moms and dads, are going to be turned into slaves as there kina disappears.
# Customs Tariff (2018 Budget) Amendment Bill, is a slug fest on the wallets of you, the average, struggling Papua New Guinean.

“One of the most disturbing features of the 2018 Budget is how the government’s hands are going deeper into the pockets of PNG shoppers. There are hidden taxes in this budget that will substantially increase the cost of living for PNG families. Every time they now go down to the supermarket to buy some milk, the government hand will be there to take one-quarter of the price and give it to their friends” declared the Shadow Minister for Treasury and Finance, Ian Ling-Stuckey.
“The feature article of the Post Courier last Thursday highlighted that the new tariffs hidden in the 2018 Budget will mean meat, egg and milk prices will rise. Does this government not know that our people are already struggling under the high costs of living? This is a price attack by the government on PNG families. No where does the government talk about the adverse impacts these price increases will have on families.
“If you impose a 25 per cent tariff on dairy products such as milk and butter, this will increase the wholesale price by 25 per cent. Do you think the wholesaler will absorb this cost increase? No, they will pass it onto the retailer, and the retailer will pass it onto the consumer. Indeed, with mark-ups, the price of milk may go up by even more than the 25 per cent increase from the new tariff” said Mr Ling-Stuckey.
“So how far has this hidden form of taxation gone? This budget has imposed massive price increases for milk.
“These build on the Supplementary Budget’s hidden tax increases on cigarettes and imported alcohol, including ludicrous increases in the tariff on soft drinks to K3 per litre.
“And what is ahead? They are talking about doing similar things for other industries such as rice and corn and wheat products such as bread”.
“The government was earlier talking about an 80 per cent tariff to protect their business besties in the rice sector.
“This is all done in the name of encouraging and supporting local manufacturing. But we know that such approaches have failed in the past in PNG. Ramu Sugar, 45 years after it started production, is still needing to hide behind a big tariff of 30 per cent.
“Let me just go through some of the items where the people of PNG are going to see price increases. Most are mentioned in the Post Courier but there are others also mentioned in the 32 page Customs Tariff (2018 Budget) Amendment Bill. The following items will all be slugged with increased taxes:
dairy products,
cooking oil,
corned beef,
sweet biscuits
clothes and garments,
concentrated fruit juices,
ice cream and other edible ice,
ladies products such as nail polishes and make-up and hair sprays,
housing products such as water tanks, baths and sinks,
dustbins and buckets,
shopping bags,
and even toilet paper.
“And of course, there is a price increase of 10 toea per litre for all imported petrol and diesel. It is likely that Puma will simply push up its prices by the same amount due to reduced competition. And then, on top of that, the government is increasing the excise tax on diesel by another 13 toea per litre, with the intent of eventually increasing it by another 38 toea a litre on top of that again. If you own a diesel engine vehicle, this government is planning to take another 61 toea for every litre. This will really hurt families.”
“Who are the big losers. First, PNG shoppers every-time they go down to the store and find a big government hand taking money from our pockets. PNG families who are going to find it more expensive to drive their children to school.
“The second class of losers are all our potential small businesses and emerging exporters who are saddled with costs much higher than they should be and export incomes lower than they should be. These measures increase the cost structure of our economy” said Mr Ling-Stuckey.
“The focus of our building our economy should be on creating PNG industries that are internationally competitive. There are many more jobs to be had by thinking of exporting to all of Asia, rather than just failed approaches of thinking only about the PNG market.“
“PNG families deserved better than the hidden taxes of this 2018 Budget.”

Hon.Ian Ling-Stuckey,CMG.MP
Shadow Minister for Treasury & Finance
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