Treasurer Impressed with Autonomous Bougainville Government budget
Following the submission of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) 2021 budget, Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey delivered words of appreciation of a “concise and professional” ABG budget.
He said, “I was pleased to receive the 2021 Budget Submission from the Autonomous Bougainville Government for an appropriation of K390,489,916. The budget was delivered on behalf of the ABG President, Ishmael Toroama, by the ABG Minister for Finance and Treasury, Mathias Roman Salas. I was very impressed by a professional and concise overview of the budget presented by the ABG team and enjoyed discussing some key budget issues. The Budget highlighted a balanced approach between operational expenditure (K158 million) and the capital development budget (K159 million). One half of the operational expenditure was spent on supporting teachers’ salaries and leave fares, showing the importance given to education. With my electorate also based around an island economy, I could sympathise with many of the issues raised, such as the difficulties of remoteness, water transport and safety.
He continued, “The 2021 ABG Budget highlighted the development needs of ABG and actions being taken, drawing on both internal revenues from ABG (7 per cent) as well as National Government grants (81.5 per cent) with the remainder from cash balances. Looking forward, as it is for the national government, there is the vital issue of how we can raise additional local revenues to support our development needs.”
The Treasurer invited the ABG team to meet with representatives at the Treasury to know more about the challenges of working in New Zealand and Australia. Some of the discussions covered were funding shortfalls from 2020, more technical budgeting issues, and funding for three road projects.
“It was a productive and useful discussion, the first of many planned in 2021 between the National Government and the ABG,” he noted.