19 Nov 2008

PNG's main paper snubs government budget in protest

4:19 pm on 19 November 2008

Papua New Guinea's biggest newspaper is not running any stories on the 2009 Budget after it was banned from the lock up for media ahead of the Budget launch on Tuesday.

The Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch unveiled a budget that, at 2.6 billion US dollars, is significantly smaller than last year's due to the dramatic slump in revenues from gold, oil and gas.

But the Post Courier has not carried this.

The editor Blaise Nangoi says the Treasurer had banned the paper in retaliation for a leaked article it ran at the weekend in which much of the Budget's content was outlined.

"So we just decided we are not going to run the budget in [any] shape or form, even the Opposition reply which is general due a week after the presentation of the Budget to Parliament, we will not touch. So we are just staying completely clear."

Blaise Nangoi says the government has accused them of bias and of wanting to be the opposition.