Monday, November 28, 2011

O’Neill explains delayed 2012 budget

THE 2012 budget has been delayed so that it can be brought down together with the legislation on sovereign wealth fund, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said yesterday, The National reports.
O’Neill told The National that postponing the budget a third time to Dec 6 was nothing sinister. Because of the delay in putting the sovereign wealth fund legislation together, the budget had to be deferred.
There had been some delay because of the series of forums being held in parts of the country to explain and take aboard people’s comments and reactions on the concept.
There had been concern because parliament was due to meet to bring down the budget on Dec 6, three days before the Supreme Court will decide on whether or not the O’Neill-Namah government was legitimately elected.
There was concern that in the event the decision went against
the government, the entire budget process would be thrown into chaos.
While the sovereign wealth law would help create the fund, there would be no money from the 2012 budget going into the fund, the prime minister said.
Money for that would be derived from resource projects currently under construction, principally the first liquefied natural gas project.
O’Neill said the budget normally took a year to prepare but his government had only three months.
“We are not delaying the implementation of it, only the delivery of it,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said a skeleton staff from Finance and Education would work throughout the festive season to keep accounts open in order to facilitate the free education process so that when schools open, all payments would be ready to go to all schools.

No comments:

Post a Comment