The Opposition Leader, Don Polye, said this month that if he takes government he will slash district funding of K10 million, remove the Free education and Health policies and subsidise them.
Last week, the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill responded to the Polye campaign rhetoric that has caused a stir amongst the voting population.
When the PNC-led coalition took office five years ago, their biggest campaign platform was free health and education.
Part of that coalition forming government and becoming Treasurer at that time was the Opposition Leader, Don Polye.
In 2017, on the eve of elections, Mr. Polye is campaigning to remove the free education and health policy.
“The greatest need and want for Papua New Guinea today is quality leadership,” Polye claims.
The Opposition Leader also said he would give autonomy to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The Sitting Kandep MP’s campaigning has been directed at the PNC-led coalition.
The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill responded to the Polye campaign oration last week.
“They stand for no free education, they will cancel free health care, that’s what Don Polye said, they will cancel DSIP, they will break up our country, by giving independence to Bougainville, he’s already committed to giving independence, when the people haven’t spoken, they will create autonomy everywhere. These are really serious national issues that are threatening the integrity and stability; now these are choices that Papua New Guineans need to make,” O’Neill responded.
But, while the Prime Minister has responded to the Polye onslaught, there are others who feel the ‘Free Education’ and ‘Free Health’ are policies that aren’t working.
EMTV has heard stories of classrooms overcrowding and medicine not reaching rural clinics and hospitals alike.
But, the PNC-led government has improved health and education infrastructure in some parts of the country, arguably people may cast their votes according to what they see in tangible development.