7 Dec 2004

Former Solomons Prime Minister says Budget money must go to productive rural sectors

8:19 pm on 7 December 2004

Solomon Islands former Prime Minister, Bartholomew Ulufa'alu, says there is a need to spend more money at the grassroots of society and the Budget needs to be amended to provide this.

He has presented a petition, signed by 32 of the 50 MPs, calling for the Government to re-allocate some of the spending to the grassroots.

Mr Ulufa'alu says the Budget accounts also need to be reconciled to ensure they are legal.

He says if the Government does not make the amendments the majority of MPs will force it to put the Budget aside.

Mr Ulufa'alu says to sustain the present growth the government must invest in rural areas, because cash crops, rather than forestry, will be the mainstays of the economy.

"the money would be spent on capacity building, institutional building and good governance at the grass roots - the money would be spent in productive sectors and to create a level playing field so that income generating projects are funded on a level playing field in terms of development financing, and then social services, in terms of recovery."