2017 BUDGET CONFIRMS APEC COST IS OVER K3 BILLION - PNG PRIME MINISTER KEEPS LYING TO STAY IN POWER

by PNGBLOGS

The 2017 Budget handed down yesterday confirms fears that the cost of APEC is far more than the K3 billion estimated by a recent International Monetary Fund report on PNG.

The allocation for this year is K250 million, taking the total cost to at least K3.8 billion over the four years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The current cost of K3.8 billion will rise even more when the Budget allocation for 2018 is announced at this time next year.

The IMF report stated that “the government plans to spend K3 billion over 2015-18 on the preparations for APEC 2018”. Prime Minister O’Neill told Parliament last week that “the amount mention by IMF is utterly rubbish, inaccurate and not true.”

But the IMF estimate is based on figures provided by Treasury officials during meetings in 2015 and earlier this year, and is likely to be very conservative.

Further increases in expenditure are possible as the Prime Minister and the APEC Coordinating Authority are refusing to reveal details of all APEC spending

The Prime Minister has long promised to table the APEC budget in Parliament, but still has not done so.

But publicly available evidence shows that the estimate of K3 billion-plus is correct. Details are as follows

Star Mountain Plaza K1.5 billion
Hilton Hotel K1.4 billion
Jacksons Airport refurbishment K140 million
Jacksons Airport expansion K100 million
Paga Hill Ring Road K50 million
APEC Haus K120 million
APEC Coordinating Authority (2016) K80 million
TOTAL K3.39 BILLION

These are the publicly available figures and because of the Government’s lack of transparency, total spending may be much higher.

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