Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said the 2018 National Budget is based on common sense and restraint, and builds on the proactive manner in which the Government has managed the recent global economic pressures.
“When we formed the Government in Alotau, we promised to deliver stable and sensible administration, and you can see that commitment evident in this budget,” the Prime Minister said ahead of the tabling of the budget by the Treasurer in Parliament this week.
“In this budget, there will be no cuts to our core national priorities, particularly education and healthcare.
“We will deliver a productive and safe APEC summit in 2018 through modest expenditure that builds capacity and leaves the legacy in our Government agencies.
“Our Government will also continue to build more efficient public services that are increasingly capable while being less expensive to operate. I am looking forward to sensible debate about the budget that is based on fact and not misinformation.”
Mr O’Neill said while pressure on the economy from global factors is easing, the Government will continue to ensure fiscal discipline is maintained.
“There is no doubt that we are seeing improvements in the global economy, and this is reflected in positive indicators in our own economy.
“Commodity prices are returning to healthier levels but there is still a long way to go before we can relax.
“When global conditions were at their lowest, our Government managed the challenges we faced and this has placed us in a stronger position today. We continued to maintain positive economic growth through a program of reducing spending, managing expenses and rescheduling some infrastructure construction,” the PM said.
“It is because of our responsible approach that we can deliver the budget that will be presented to the Parliament this week.
“The Treasurer, working with all Cabinet members, and Treasury officials, has developed a very responsible budget that takes account of current global challenges.
“I congratulate our Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister, Charles Abel, and look forward to the delivery of his first budget speech on Tuesday.”