OPPOSITION leader Mathew Wale says the Government needs to know how much its policies will cost in order to prioritise them.
He made the comment in a lengthy and explosive speech delivered in parliament yesterday in response to the speech from the throne.
“The lack of policy costing gives the pretention that government is able to do a lot as if it has the money,” Wale said.
“Realism is part of responsibility and it is not responsible my fellow brothers and sisters to come to this house with uncosted assumptions, raising expectations, giving false hope,” he added.
“It is ‘business as usual’ to have a shopping list or wish list without knowing how much it would cost and whether it can be afforded.
“We should sit down and put cost on those things and from there we can identify what are the important things we need and should do first and how we can get funds for them.”
Wale urged leaders to be sensitive to the struggle of ordinary Solomon islanders.
“Right now there are many families especially in Honiara that are unable to put free meals on the table.
“I am aware in fact some even have just one meal a day, especially in the evening.
“These families worked hard at whatever opportunity they have in order to put food on the table, but their struggles even cannot meet the basic needs. Most of them cannot even afford school fees.”
The Opposition leader said the benefits of the 3% economic growth every year had not trickle down to the majority of Solomon Islanders.
“Only a very few at the top enjoy most of the benefits and this is a great injustice,” he said.
He said what appears on the Government policy document has indicated lack of urgency in it.
Wale said he is hoping to see what the government will do to address the population growth rather than highlighting its current rate and that of years ahead.
He said job creation was also not in the front or centre of the Government’s policy document.
“The people have looked for hope to their leaders but they don’t get it.
“But thank God, they can have hope in God because their leaders have failed them. They raise false expectations but they don’t deliver them.”
Wale said Solomon Islands has beautiful and tolerant people where they tolerate incompetency in government.
“But government incompetency also leads to lack of delivery where they tell good things but fail to deliver them for the people.
“They tolerate incompetency in government to address the injustice in the unequal distribution of the benefits that come from the economic growth.
“Our beautiful people even tolerate corruption in this country which often deprive the economy of functioning more efficiently and retards government delivery of services,” he said.
However, Wale said people should demand justice just like other countries where they demand for justice rather than just tolerate those injustices.
He said years of incompetence should now be stopped as it is time that the government must pay attention to those injustices.
By IAN M.KAUKUI