27 Aug 2002

PNG public servants could have their numbers cut

7:21 pm on 27 August 2002

Public servants in Papua New Guinea could soon face cuts in their numbers according to the Public Employees Association.

The association's acting president, Michael Malabag, says they've managed to persuade the government not to implement an across the board ten percent pay cut but there will be ongoing discussions with the minister about the public service.

Senior management and politicians are now having their salaries cut by 15 percent.

Mr Malabag says he believes there could be cuts in the numbers of public servants in the near future.

"Sooner or later, something drastic will happen...like always cuts must be substantiated and especially when you have to define essential and non essential services you know...if there are going to be cuts, they have to be done in the right places, not necessarily just across the board"

Papua New Guinea has 77,000 public servants and the government is attempting to cut costs in the face of a growing deficit of 54 million U.S. dollars.