16 Nov 2005

Papua New Guinea declares 20pc budget hike for police

10:26 am on 16 November 2005

Papua New Guinea is to increase the police budget for 2006 by 20 per cent.

Delivering the nation's budget yesterday, the Treasurer, Bart Philemon, promised better service delivery for rural dwellers, reduced income taxes and forecast 3 POINT 5 per cent economic growth next year.

Mr Philemon said public spending had gone up, but too much taxpayer money was still not getting to where it was needed to improve basic health, education, transport and law and order services for ordinary Papua New Guineans.

He said borrowing wasn't the answer and PNG had to nurture its scarce resources and use them wisely in productive areas.

Treasurer Philemon said debt as a percentage of GDP would fall to around 50 per cent by the end of 2005, down from 70 per cent when the government came to office.

Other measures announced included a boost to health funding and more resources to combat HIV/Aids.