Budget ignores national activities: Maelanga

By Mike Puia

LEADER of Opposition, Manasseh Maelanga, says the 2018 appropriation bill shows no support towards upcoming national events.

Maelanga made these comments during the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) enquiry into the Ministry of Finance and Treasury last week.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for East Malaita said events like the 2023 Pacific Games to be hosted here, the national general elections next year, the Solomon Games this year are some of the “very important” national activities that are coming up.

Maelanga said the cut to budgets of ministries that are mandated to look after these events does not reflect the government’s commitment to making sure these events are successfully held.

“When you cut the Ministry of Home Affairs’ budget, for instance, how can you expect the country to host the 2023 Pacific Games?” Maelanga asked the staff of the Ministry who appeared before the Committee.

He revealed that the Ministry of Home Affairs’ budget of SBD$18 million last year has been reduced to SBD$9 million this year.

Maelanga said it appears the national government is not putting strong emphasis on these programmes as reflected in the budget.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Harry Kuma said undisruptive government service is what the budget focusses on.

Mr Kuma said money is limited so the Ministry has to work with what it has to make sure government operation continues.

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