Ling-Stuckey and Flanagan make Marape look jumpy and weak

: Andrew Arthur
Prime Minister James Marape had one of his worst performances in the last parliament session jumping from one place to the other over the Dominate Player Levy. One moment he pushed hard in NEC for the new tax on the advice of Ian Ling-Stuckey and Paul Flanagan and as is the case, he flips his decision when met with some resistance in Parliament.

Everyone knows Marape has a real problem with being decisive- but his performance on the 2022 Budget has now left PNG with a k190 million hole by shelving the ‘Dominate Player Levy’ that his Treasury Ian Ling-Stuckey and highly paid failed Australian advisor Paul Flanagan had craftily written into the budget for additional taxes on banking and telecommunication.

The budget preparation is a culmination of 12 months of planning and works for Politicians, Public Servants, and advisors that ended in a major failure and refusal by legislators in Parliament. An embarrassment to those who had worked hard to put together the 2022 Money Plan. In any other country, the Chief Advisor (Paul Flanagan) would have resigned in shame for his failure to consult the BSP and Digicel before taxing them.

But in Papua New Guinea, the failed advisor (Economic Hitman) Paul Flanagan is rewarded!
The current chief advisor to the Treasurer of PNG, will be appointed as a Director on the Board of the country’s central bank, BPNG. Changes to the Central Banking Amendment Act 2021 were crafted by the Treasurer to ensure his overpaid, reckless, and failed advisor Paul Flanagan can direct and control the policies and actions of the central bank  The goal is to have a seat on the board of BPNG to influence and devalue the PNG Currency!

The amendments include major changes to the Board of Bank of Papua New Guinea. The advice from Flanagan is to completely remove 5 mandatory board members from Chambers of Commerce, Security Commission, Institution of Accountants, Trade Union Congress, and PNG Council of Churches.  They are to be replaced by 5 handpicked individuals at the political whim of the current Marape-Basil Government.

Flanagan reserved a seat for himself on the board of BPNG as the changes in the Central Banking Act also allow for a non-resident of PNG who has ‘International Experience” to be a member of the board. Guess where Flanagan resides and operates out of??? In addition, the changes also allow for a member of the Department of Treasury to be an observer.

Flanagan has failed miserably since taking an advisory role with Treasury. In 2020 Flanagan advises the Marape Government to amend the Fiscal Responsibility Act to increase the Debt to GDP Ratio from 35% to 45% and to 60%.  This gave the Government the fiscal space to increase our National Debt to K52.5 Billion – a 51.5% Debt to GDP
And since his shortcomings in fixing the PNG economy with his fiscal policy, Flanagan decides to make changes in Central Bank Act to allow for his influence on the monetary policy of the Bank of Papua New Guinea. The goal is to devalue the kina against the major currencies of US, AUST, and Euro. Flanagan has advised the business community in 2014 of his intentions
The 2022 Budget delivered by the Treasurer was a complete disaster! No time in history was a budget presented in Parliament with missing volumes! The opposition had no time to peruse the budget as it was given the night before the debate and all figures blown out of proposition. The GDP, the Debt to GDP, Public Debt, Inflation, and even Unemployment is mismatched against BPNG, World Bank, and IMF figures.
The astonishing aspect is that the Telecommunication Levy and Banking Levy were ripped out of the budget by the Prime Minister himself on the floor of Parliament! This makes a revenue hole of K190 million in the budget as the appropriation was passed as Law. The revenue hole will grow from K190 million to K1 billion, and it will only be financed by more loans! The new loans of K5.9 billion in 2022 budget will increase by this revenue gap to about K6.9 billion in 2022. 

The announcement by Marape to shelve the implementation of the Levies reflects the incompetency of his Treasurer and his debt addict advisor Paul Flanagan. Flanagan who has been very vocal in the past to criticize Governments pinning their hopes on the resources sector over human resources goes and does a complete turnaround to advise Marape to place all his hopes in the Porgera Mine reopening in 2022.
James Marape has lost control over his Cabinet with Paul Flanagan, an incompetent foreign advisor regularly lecturing NEC on how to devalue the Kina; increase debt to now over K52 billion and interfere in the Central Bank to place himself on the board of BPNG.
Marape has promised to take back PNG and instead has let his “son” Rainbo Paita convince him to do a dirty deal and sell out our gold refinery business to foreigners. When challenged in Parliament, Jumpy James Marape, did his usual flip-flop and backed down from the deal he had celebrated at the signing in Government Haus.
Porgera he promised would be closed for just a short period of pain and reopen mid last year. Instead, Jumpy James Marape could not negotiate the deal and switched his story to long-term pain for no gain. His jumping around is costing jobs and income for PNG.
He jumped from PNC to Pangu then just a couple of months ago, announced with all talk and no action Governors, William Powi and Philip Undialu, a new political party only to reverse that idea a few days later.
Jumpy James Marape needs to stop with the indecisiveness if he has any chance of being taken seriously. Papua New Guinea needs a decisive leader come 2022!


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