28 Sep 2009

Solomons PM says budget shortfall restricting government programme

12:21 pm on 28 September 2009

Solomon's Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua, has announced a US$32 million dollar gap in his government's budget and says it has been caused by the global financial crisis.

Dr Sikua gave the shortfall as an explanation of government's undelivered promises.

The Prime Minister says it is very difficult for the government to deliver on its promises at such a difficult economic time.

He says the government has had to reduce its budget in line with a drop in government income.

The Solomon Islnd Broadcasting Corporation quotes Dr Sikua as saying that people are pushing the government to deliver but that the government cannot do it with such a gap in its budget.

The Prime Minister's leadership has come under heavy criticism over a lack of action over his Finance Minister, who is accused of making decisions without consultation or cabinet knowledge.

These include the Finance Minister's decision to use his powers under the Customs and Excise Act to return a tug-boat to its logging company owners, Earthmovers.

The boat had allegedly brought substantial loads into the country illegally.