By Lillian Sopera Keneqa – EMTV News, Port Moresby
During the St. John’s Ambulance Gala Fundraising dinner, Prime Minister, James Marape, talked about the country’s current economic status including how tax was being used. In commending the great work that the St. John staff and officers were doing, Marape also wants to see an increase in more funding to help where it matters most.
With the Health Minister, Elias Kapavore, and NCD Governor, Powes Parkop, also present at the event, together, signed a National Level Health Sector Partnership Agreement of the National Ambulance Service between the National Department of Health and the National St. John Council of PNG.
He explained that what the Government has done so far, while they fall short, really equates to the size of the country’s economy, in contributing back to the social sectors that matter most as far as lifting people’s lifestyle.
Prime Minister, James Marape, also said: “You all pay tax so I will tell you how your money is being used. Every collection, in the last seven years as Finance Minister, never at one time did we go past K10 billion – that’s the size, maximum size of the economy, in terms of collecting revenue for distribution to our service centers.”
He added, “With the K10 billion collected, if we strictly stick by what we collect, K10 or K11 million is spent. 60% of collection is for current expenditures – the year’s salary and pay of public service servants go up all the time and I’ve made it my point – no more increasing public service pay – I don’t mind paying doctors, nurses, teachers and police but the rest must stop now,” Marape said.
He has a vision to increase funding to sectors that matter most, including Health, education and infrastructure development.