Ling-Stuckey: K5.7B Economic Recovery, Health Funds Protect the Economy

By: PNG Business News August 16, 2021

The K5.7 billion economic recovery and health fund, according to Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey, was utilized to preserve the budget and the economy, with the overarching goal of protecting the people.

He mentioned this in the Parliament chamber while debating the new normal perspex solution layout, a measure to limit the development of the Covid-19 epidemic, according to a report given by the permanent parliamentary committee on National Parliament.

According to Ling-Stuckey, the government, like all other countries, has experienced several problems as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, and they had to adjust their budget last year, resulting in a revised income of around K2.7 billion.

He stated that because of the pandemic's severe problems, they expect to cut sales by another K2 billion this year.

He stated that the public has many worries about how the K5.7 billion economic and health response monies are being spent.

He stated that he would make a ministerial statement for the good of the country, but that the money would be used to preserve the budget and the economy in order to contribute to the discussion.

“If we did not protect the budget then what would have happened?” he asked.

“Yes we hear people complaining about the increased debt and it frustrates me.

“If we did not respond quickly with the economic response package, then what would have happened?

“We would have failed to pay K185 million fortnightly and we would have lay off nurses and doctors, which means less frontline workers and that would have resulted in more than the 18,000 infected cases to date and roughly to about 200 deaths.

“These figures would have been far greater.

“We would have reduced the number of policemen and the early lockdowns would have been chaotic and the order situation would have been far worse.

“Mr Speaker, I will present a statement tomorrow (today) outlining where we were before the COVID- 19 when we look at some of these things at the very tough economic times and if you recall the forecasted GDP for this year to be three and a half per cent but that number was revised to two and a half per cent.

“Given the difficult times, it gives you an idea to appreciate what this government had done and look at some key matrix and compare funding since the government came into power in May 2019, you can see that with capital funding in two and a half year, the previous government-funded about K10 billion.

“At the end of May, our capital investment budget is expected to be around K18 billion.

“That’s a clear K8 billion more compared to the previous government and we did this with revenue revised down to K2.7 billion.

‘‘It is my duty to protect the budget and revenue. The revenue is met but if we can’t find revenue internally, we have to find it elsewhere.”


Reference: Elapa, Jefffrey. Post-Courier (12 August 2021). “K5.7B Economic Recovery, Health Funds Protect the Economy: Ling-Stuckey”.

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