30 Oct 2015

Vanuatu budget delay possible if stand-off continues

4:31 pm on 30 October 2015

Vanuatu is facing the possibility of a delay in 2016 budget.

As the political stalemate drags on with two sides vying to lead the country a commentator says time is running out to prepare for the budget.

Vanuatu Daily Post front page, October 23 2015

Vanuatu Daily Post front page, October 23 2015 Photo: SUPPLIED / Vanuatu Daily Post / Len Garae

The Prime Minister Sato Kilman is pushing for a dissolution of Parliament while the opposition, led by Ham Lini, which has the backing of 25 MPs, wants to form a government of national unity.

But the founder of the Devpolicy Thinknet, Tess Newton Cain, says if the delay continues the implications will be significant, not only for the recovery from Cyclone Pam and current drought but the new budget could be delayed.

"The deadline by which parliament has to have sat is 19 December. The budget bill needs to be circulated to all MPs 30 days ahead of it being read and debated in parliament. So that time is shortening quite rapidly and with each passing day we are faced with the fear that there may not be a budget for next year."