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PM O’Neill Defends Government’s Handling of the Economy

By Meriba Tulo – EMTV News, Port Moresby

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has defended the government’s handling of the economy with an assurance to the country that the debt to GDP ratio is within legal limits.

Responding to questions in parliament today (July 25), the Prime Minister emphasized that the country’s total debt is at K24 billion and not between K60 and K70 billion as claimed by the Opposition.

In Parliament today (July 25), questions on the country’s debt levels again surfaced, this time with Lae MP, John Rosso, asking the Prime Minister to confirm the country’s total debt levels.

His questions, on the back of similar questions from the Opposition on Tuesday (July 24). The Prime Minister, in response, reaffirmed the Treasurer’s response on Tuesday, saying the country’s total debt levels were not as high as claimed by the opposition.

However, the Prime Minister’s response drew a point-of-order from Madang MP Bryan Kramer, questioning the accuracy of the Government’s Debt-to-GDP figures.

The Madang MP referring to figures from IMF and World Bank Reports on the State of PNG’s economy from early this year. PM O’Neill took issue with the figures stated by the IMF and World Bank, preferring instead to stick to reports from in-country.

The Prime Minister also reassured Parliament that all critical figures on the economy would be presented through the Mid-Year-Economic-Fiscal Outlook, by the Treasurer later this week.

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