PM: Best Budget in 16yrs
By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK (The National )
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says the 2018 national budget, passed by Parliament last evening, is the best he has seen in the past 16 years, including when he served as the Treasurer.
He yesterday criticised the Opposition response to the K14.7 billion budget, calling on Shadow Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey to withdraw his “fake budget” remark.
“This is very disappointing as it will give a bad signal to our international investors. I’m calling on the Shadow Treasury Ian Ling- Stuckey to withdraw his statement,” he said.
“This is by far one of the best budgets that I have ever seen since I have been in this Parliament for 16 years now. That includes the budget that I have presented as well.”
O’Neill had served as a treasurer in the Sir Michael Somare-led government.
“I say this because this budget is now putting us on a course to make sure that this country’s economic base and growth will be such that it can be self-sustainable,” he said.
“So it is quite disappointing that some of the terminologies that he (Ling-Stuckey) used are unbecoming of leaders of this honourable house. We have to be careful of how we portray the image of our country, our parliament and ourselves.
“Sometimes for short political convenience and point-scoring we say things and do things that are not really in the best interest of our country. We have to be constructive.
“It’s always easy to have a blame-game going on in politics. But some of us want to move ahead and met the challenges ahead of us.”
Before it rose for the Christmas break, Parliament passed the Tax Administration Bill 2017 and the Public Money Management Bill 2017. Parliament will resume sitting on Feb 6 next year.