4 Nov 2015

Essentials appear safe from brutal PNG budget

8:38 am on 4 November 2015

Health, education and infrastructure spending appear to be safe from funding cuts after Papua New Guinea's government yesterday announced a massive drop in revenue and major cuts in its 2016 budget.

The treasurer, Patrick Pruaitch, says a collapse in global commodity prices has seen the government's mining and petroleum revenue fall from an estimate of US$579 million to just US$100 million.

Overall, the government has suffered a 12 percent drop in revenue, and Mr Pruaitch says the government expects economic growth to fall from 9.9 percent to 4.3 percent.

Our correspondent in PNG, Todagia Kelola, says the government is hoping to cut about 470 million dollars of expenditure.

"There will be major cuts in many, many areas, but priority areas like health and education remain the same. And also the provincial support improvement programme has been increased. So this big increase in provincial funding should help improvements in all types of public infrastructure."

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