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Marape-Steven govt's new K3.8 Billion Loan sells out PNGs Sovereignty and Independence, says O'Neill

The Leader of the People’s National Congress Party and former PNG prime ministers  Peter O’Neill,has condemned the latest announcement by the Treasurer to borrow K3.8 billion, that will not be invested in infrastructure, but just to pay the government’s increasing spending.
“The accelerated borrowing program of K3.8 billion is absolute madness that can only lead to the collapse of our economy in the coming years and dependency on the IMF and World Bank,” Mr. O’Neill said.
“This debt trap he is getting the country into makes no economic sense as it is to be spent on budget support, consumption and consultants, it is not for building new roads, schools or hospitals that will advance our economy.
“This loan sells out our sovereignty and independence, and makes our people slaves to the very international institutions from which he is being advised through his foreign consultants.
“The Treasurer will now have borrowed close to K15 billion in less than one year.
“This is a new and alarming record for our country that will come with great pain simply because this government is only thinking of buying votes in the 2022 elections.
“Papua New Guinea had only borrowed a total of K27 billion in the 44 years since Independence, and now in the space of a few months the Treasurer has borrowed more than half that amount again.
“Does this government have any thought for the future of our children and our country against their personal desire to be in power?
“Our people are now asking is this the price we have to pay to Take Back PNG, that they will sell out the country to international organisations and a harmful structural adjustment program.
“This is an option of last resort, when a government has no solutions and so no choice but to beg.
“There is a simple rule for sound economic governance is that you live within your means, and that you only borrow to invest in stimulating the economy.
“This loan is a desperate measure for a government that has failed to stimulate investment in major projects and now the economy is in freefall.
“This economic slump, and the related downturn in confidence in the economy by our business sector is clear in a recent survey by Westpac Bank. All three surveyed indices covering expectations in recruitment, investment and profits fell by more than a half to two thirds.
“This is after these has all risen steadily over the five years leading to 2019 and business confidence was high.”
Mr. O’Neill said the Treasurer’s announcement is also the height of hypocrisy after all of the statements he made while in Opposition against the previous and current governments.
“Ian Ling-Stuckey demanded that both myself and Marpae should put an end to any further debt, but then as soon as he is appointed Treasurer he has begged for loans.
“This additional loan will create more hardship for our people now, and the country will take more than the next ten years to recover and pay back this money.”
Peter O’Neill said the problem for the Government, and in particular, the Treasurer, is a lack of economic management experience and this is showing.
“The Treasurer’s background is in poker machines, where he did not have to think much because his revenue came from people addicted to gambling.
“That is just a lazy business and gives him no credentials to manage a complex national economy.
“Prudent management of our economy is what is needed right now.
“The Treasurer cannot provide that leadership because he has no experience in economic management.

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