2017 BUDGET BLUES - K40 MILLION SLUSH FUND ALLOCATED FOR PM's PERSONAL USE

by PNGBLOGS

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s greed and corruption is on show again in the 2017 Budget, with K40 million allocated for his personal use.

The slush fund is a new allocation, under the Treasury and Finance Miscellaneous category, entitled Prime Minister’s Commitments. Also in this category is K3 million for “PM’s Official Staff Determination Payouts”.

Treasury and Finance Miscellaneous can be viewed on Page 187 of Volume 2a, 2017 Budget Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for National Government Departments http://www.treasury.gov.pg/html/national_budget/files/2017/Vol2a-Revenue%20and%20Expenditure%20National%20Govt%20Depts.pdf

No details of the new slush fund have been given. No reference was made to it in the Treasurer’s speech. No details are available of who or what the K40 million is to be spent on. There is no evidence of any acquittal requirements.

This is a slush fund pure and simple and the Prime Minister and his Treasurer are trying to keep it secret.

Treasury and Finance Miscellaneous has become a pig trough for the Prime Minister and his political and business cronies in recent years.

And it includes the infamous Secretary’s Advance, which in 2017 is K62 million (K100 million in 2016). The explanations for spending, as in previous years, are largely meaningless and probably disguise all sorts of illegal payments accessed by the Prime Minister and his crony Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari.

The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook covers the Secretary’s Advance in Table 16: Secretary’s Advance Expenditure since the 2016 Budget.

This table shows that up to June 30 Prime Ministerial crony Tiffany Twivey has received two payments through her law firm Twivey Lawyers – one for K1.6 million and another for K2.1 million (TOTAL K3.7 million). Last year she received K1.8 million up to June 30.

Another Prime Ministerial crony and prominent kon man, Jimmy Maladina, benefited from K1.6 million from the Secretary’s Advance in 2015 through his law firm Pacific Legal Group.

K10 million was spent on “Budget readjustments as per PM’s instructions” up to June 30. The Prime Minister has no authority to make readjustments to the Budget and has probably breached the Constitution and the Public Finances (Management) Act by spending money for purposes not authorised by the Parliament.

The Secretary’s Advance is used to pay-off all sorts of political debts, and Sepik Grand Thief Michael Somare benefitted in both 2015 and 2016. On top of the hundreds of millions of kina he has stolen over the years, K1.2 million was allocated for his birthday party in 2016 and K2 million was paid directly to him in 2015 for his loss of Prime Ministerial office in 2011.

Luxury cars are bought for public officials outside the normal entitlements process. Minor functionaries’ funeral expenses are paid, entirely improperly. Mysterious consultants receive millions of kina every year.

A popular way to disguise payments is to use time-worn explanations such as “Office Refurbishment and Partitions” (K1.5 million in 2016), “Additional support to the Department of Treasury for the fit-out of their new office” (K2 million in 2015)”, and “Additional funding provided for equipment purposes to address power outage issues” (K2 million in 2015).

There is even one allocation of K4 million in 2015 which has no explanation at all!

No wonder the O’Neill Regime cannot pay public servants, educate our children or keep us healthy and safe.

The Prime Minister and his cronies are stealing everything they can get their dirty hands on.

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