By ANDREW FANASIA
THE Prime Minister Rick Hou has defend his government budget after it was heavily criticised on the floor of the Parliament, Tuesday.
Chairman of the Bills and Legislative Committee Mathew Wale came out strongly to criticise the budget in his debate yesterday.
Mr Hou in his response said to accuse the current government of negligence and designed the budget devoid of sound data and information is totally wrong.
“My government is using various reports and one of them is the reports from the Statistic Office reports to design the 2019 budget.
“The Government also looks at the economic and social data to plan its budget and this is exactly what was being done,” Mr Hou said when he defended his government budget.
But in his debate yesterday Mr Wale was comprehensively using the various data from various reports especially the House Hold Income Expenditures Survey (HIES) 2012-13.
Mr Wale was using the report in the hope to help the government and the people of Solomon Islands to get a sense of perspective on the policy choices that government has made in the last four years and in this 2019 budget.
“The government has made a bold statement that it is committed to broadening and diversifying the economic base and has introduced new as well as bolstering ongoing policies that will support economic growth and improve living standard,” he said.
Minister for Finance and Treasury Manasseh Sogavare in his budget speech earlier when he presented the budget two weeks ago said the structural reforms will focus on tourism, fisheries, agriculture, infrastructure, mining and medical services.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Aoke/Langalanga again questioned the government where is the evidence in this current budget of such structural reforms?
“Stop lying to the parliament and the people of these lovely islands this are grossly misleading statements.
“The government knows there is no focus in this budget nor in any other previous budgets on these sector,” Mr Wale said.
Mr Wale said that focus usually translates to meaningful and significant investments.
But Mr Hou in his defensive response said that budget is all about resource allocation.
“This is why this 2019 budget is credible and fully funded,” Mr Hou said.