Peter O’Neill, former prime minister of Papua New Guinea said, “there is not an honest economist in the world who would concur with such a claim and we know that he is getting his advice from the discredited economist Paul Flanagan”.
O’NEILL TAKES A SWIPE AT LING-STUCKEY
From PNG Breaking News | October 1, 2019.
People’s National Congress (PNC) party leader Peter O’Neill said Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey’s announcement that there is a deficit of K4.6 billion in this year’s budget is absolute nonsense driven by political ambition.
Mr. O’Neill, a former prime minister, said that “there is not an honest economist in the world who would concur with such a claim and we know that he is getting his advice from the discredited economist Paul Flanagan”.
“So instead of criticizing and condemning the decisions of O’Neill, Marape, Pruaitch, Abel and all of the ministers who have managed the economy over the past eight years, he needs to be honest with data to articulate his plans for the future and stop playing politics,” he said.
“This Treasurer is using made-up figures for no other reason but to play politics. Charles Abel was Treasurer and James Marape was Finance Minister for the 2019 budget, so is he saying James Marape and Charles Abel were wrong?
“The budget deficit this year was projected at 1.5 per cent, as agreed by finance minister Marape (then) and treasurer Abel (then), not the claimed 5.8 per cent by this new Treasurer, so he should go back and check with these leaders on the actual figures instead of making false claims.
“He calls (then) treasurer Abel’s 100-day plan after the last election as a fake 100-plan. The only fake I see is the new Treasurer’s false figures.
“The only thing he has right in his statement is that the people of this Nation are strong and resilient, and we have seen this since commodity prices bottomed out several years ago. We managed the budget and we delivered services for our people.
“We must work together instead of generating a nonsense blame game. The facts we have today are that business confidence is at an all-time-low after months of political instability and indecision.
The Papua LNG Project is now on hold and nothing will happen until there is movement on P’nyang, businesses are not spending money as they see their bottom line eroding and workers are being laid off.
“So we have to get on top of the damage that has been caused in recent months, and regardless of what has happened in politics, we must work together and get back on top of the economy like we were six months ago. Let us stick with facts, not false data. That is what our country wants from all leaders today.”