Budget for everyone, or is it?

‘IN the midst of adversity, Government has decided to redesign and more effectively manage the delivery of public services within a tighter fiscal framework’.

These were the words used by Finance Minister, Manasseh Sogavare in his budget speech for 2018.

Recently there has been utter disbelief from all angles regarding budget cuts in other areas of government’s expenses.

SIG sponsored students had been left incredulous on the news of their allowance being slashed in half whilst Western province has reached a point of no return and the Ministry of Health concerned that service delivery in health services will be affected.

But comparing past budgets to now, the national budget is often centred on the $4b mark.

For instance in 2015, the budget totals up to four-billion-plus and had been spent on major reform programmes and other sector areas that are yet to be fulfilled like the Relocation of National Referral Hospital for one.

From past experience probably this shows that government have come to realise that it is important priorities must be set right in order for it to achieve its targeted goal.

All along we have been complaining of government not setting its priorities right and now Government is basically doing what we as concerned citizens of this country wants.

Now the onus is on the government to really prioritise its spending to where it matters the most.

The National Development Strategy (NDS) 2016 – 2035 to which the budget is reflected on mainly targets our rural people and focusses on two key areas, social and economic livelihoods of all Solomon Islanders.

All Solomon Islanders means everyone and not just a small portion of the population.

With that, let us hope the national government will also take on board the concerns of the provincial governments and work hand in hand with them with the limited resources we have to improve the lives of our other 80 percent of the population.

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