K27.3 billion budget tabled in PNG

Photo: Australian Policy and History Network

The Papua New Guinea Government Tuesday handed down a whopping K27.3 billion (US$7.3 billion) 2024 Budget.

Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey when presenting the Budget in Parliament described it as a responsible budget that is K2.8b (US$751.3 million) larger than the 2023 Budget.

With the theme “Securing our Future” Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey presented another de cit budget of K27.3 billion (US$7.3 billion) 2024 Budget in Parliament Tuesday.

A total revenue of K23.3b (US$6.2 billion) that is K3.8b (US$1.02 billion) more than the 2023 Budget of K19.5b (US$5.2 billion). 

The Treasurer clarified that because revenues are growing much faster than expenditures, the budget deficit reduces by another billion Kina down to K3.9b (US$1.05 billion).

He said the Government will continue with a disciplined budget repair, with the aim to get back to a surplus by 2027, and the option of repaying all debt by 2034.

“Securing our future, with a focus on growth and jobs, inclusive economic growth is key to better lives for our people, and through growth, more revenues and larger budgets. During COVID19, we protected the budget, protected the economy. And we are now seeing the bene ts of such a policy,” Treasurer Ling-Stuckey stated when delivering his budget speech.

The Treasurer is confident that the economy is expected to grow from K111 billion (US$29.7 billion) in 2023 to (K122 billion (US$32.7 billion) in 2024 which is over 50 per cent higher than the K79 billion (US$21.2 billion) in 2019.

Using the best measure of improving living standards for our people, Ling-Stuckey said non-resource growth, will continue, at its high levels of 5.2 percent in 2022, 4.5 percent in 2023 and 4.7 percent in 2024.

“This is only the second time, in PNG’s post-independence history, where there have been three years in a row, of real non-resource growth, of over 4.5 per cent. The other period was 2010 to 2012, and that was based on the massive boost of the PNG LNG project, put in place by our Grand Chief Somare. And this time, we are getting this strong growth, even before the expected, commencement of the Papua LNG project next year, and the other resource projects.”

The Treasurer said things are getting better as Government continues to focus on delivering basic services to the people.

“But I know, that many in our community, do not feel, as if they are sharing, in such record growth and budgets. I know that there are businesses that are still going bankrupt. I know that there are still enormously, long queues for anyone that seeks a job in our cities,” said Ling-Stuckey. The Treasurer stated that the Government is aware there are cost of living pressures on many families. “But what I can assure the people of PNG, is that things are going better; higher incomes and more jobs; better budget repair, with a clear plan to a budget surplus. A more responsive and responsible approach, to dealing with cost- of-living pressures, said the Treasurer.