28 Nov 2002

PNG budget to be tabled tomorrow

5:36 am on 28 November 2002

The recently elected Papua New Guinea government will produce its 2003 Budget today and widespread cuts in public spending seem inevitable.

The government had initially hoped to balance the budget, but the worsening economy, and the refusal of assistance by aid donors such as Australia, has it now targetting a deficit of around two percent of GDP.

Our correspondent, Peter Niesi says most departments are anticipating reduced allocations.

"nothing has been told very directly but the general message that has been going down to the public at large is to expect a lot of cuts, but to what degree has not been made clear yet, ...but one of the things that the PNG Government under the leadership of Sir Michael Somare and Treasurer Bart Philomen has set out to do, is to demonstrate that when they put their minds to it, Papua New Guinea can display fiscal discipline"