Wale blames Ministry of Finance for Solomon Islands’ financial woes
By Mike Puia
MEMBER of Parliament for Auki-Langalanga and member of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Mathew Wale, has blasted the Ministry of Finance and Treasury over the 2018 appropriation bill 2018.
Representatives of the Ministry, led by the Permanent Secretary, Harry Kuma, appeared before the Committee last week.
The PAC is currently questioning ministries and institutions as part of a report it expects to produce and table in parliament prior to the parliament budget meeting.
Mr Wale said he has read the Ministry’s budget strategy and outlook documents and is not satisfied with terms used in the budget. He refers to terms like ‘re-gaining credibility’, ‘re-gaining stability’ and others.
“Why are we re-gaining stability? Last year when we question you about the budget you say it was very responsible, very stable and all the nice soundly words,” Wale said.
He said now the Ministry is saying they are ‘re-gaining this and that’.
Wale said it is clear the Ministry of Finance and Treasury has been mismanaging the fiscal situation of the government.
“I think you have been mismanaging the fiscal situation of the government,” Wale told representatives of the Ministry.
He said the country is where it is today because of the Ministry of Finance’s “useless” management of the country’s fiscal situation.
“We are where we are not by default but because of consistent useless management of the government’s fiscal situation,” Wale said.
He said the country had wasted a lot of its resources last year.
“The Ministry of Finance last year assured the country that everything is fine but it turns out not. The last thing we expect is experiencing the same situation this year,” Wale said.
Permanent Secretary Kuma said this year’s budget is more realistic and credible.
Among other things, he said the key policies of the budget are fiscal stability and prioritisation of target areas where the budget will focus on this year.