9 Oct 2002

PNG ask Australia for urgent budgetary support

12:30 pm on 9 October 2002

Papua New Guinea has asked Australia to urgently redirect some of its aid funding into direct budget support.

PNG's Treasurer, Bart Philemon, says he has asked Australia's Treasurer Peter Costello to redirect almost 20 million US dollars of Australian aid to recurrent budget spending next year.

PNG is grappling with a new economic crisis after the Supreme Court ruled the country's ten per cent Value Added Tax was illegal.

Mr Philemon has also sought help from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to cover the budget shortfall while in the United States.

In a statement, Mr Philemon says the discussions had been fruitful.