Monday, July 01, 2013

PNG PM wants old age, disability pensions

By Eoin Blackwell, AAP Papua New Guinea Correspondent

PAPUA New Guinea may have a disability and old age pension by 2016, as Prime Minister Peter O'Neill asks his party to consider a new policy platform.
During an address to People's National Congress (PNC) faithful in PNG's second largest city, Lae, Mr O'Neill said he wanted to promote small business entrepreneurship
He also flagged laws to mandate the amount of parliamentary sitting days and to have opponents list no-confidence motions three months before a vote.
 At the PNC conference on Friday, the prime minister said data collected from an electronic ID system, which he wants to see online by 2014, would be used to improve pay and living conditions in the country.
 The scheme will be used to study, then raise the pay and living conditions of provincial government employees, such as police and magistrates.
 Stage two is to have a disability pension by 2015.
"We should also introduce an old pension system for all citizens who are over the age of 65 years in 2016," Mr O'Neill sai
 PNG's next national election is due in 2017.
 Mr O'Neill also wants to use housing loans to control PNG's growing population, which is now about seven million.
 Interest-free loans will be offered to couples aged 18 to 25, if they put off having kids.
 PNG's Institute of National Affairs director, Paul Barker, said the pension plan was "too ambitious", and implementation would run up against practical logistical and manpower problems.
 "Implementation of the current budget is problematic," he said.
 "The capacity to set up, implement and manage something like that, there is a lot of work that is needed before it can be implemented."
 Mr O'Neill also flagged a constitutional amendment to have votes of no confidence made public three months before they're brought to the floor of parliament

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