Debate on budget commences Friday - Solomon Star News

Debate on budget commences Friday

09 April 2021
Matthew Wale.

THE much-awaited debate on the 2021 Government Budget was suspended after Opposition Leader and Member for Aoke/Langalanga Mathew Wale asked the concurrence of the Prime Minister to have the debate adjourned to tomorrow (Friday).

Wale told the Parliament this is to allow a bit of time for Members of Parliament to read and formulate their debate presentation.

While it has been a good tradition the House practice for a number of years Wale is more concerned about the time given for all the MPs to prepare for the debate.

But before the Prime Minister respond to Wale, the Speaker of the Parliament Patterson Oti explained that Standing Order 61 (2) actually give rise to the timing that is required between the moving of the motion and after which the debate can take on.

"Obviously the limitations of the Standing Order perhaps has not allowed time space between the second reading and for Members to dealt through PAC report and assumption is that the scoop of the Standing Order allows that to take place.

"The report of the PAC will be very useful when it comes to the Committee of Supply before the Third Reading after the debate," he further explained.

He also explained that the debate can also be premised on the statement by the Minister for Finance as matters of principles and policy and not the details, the details are in the PAC report.

"So any debate thereon should basically in my opinion should be based on the statement by the Minister for Finance," he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare concurred with the Speaker's comments and said that the debate can only start when we have the alternative view put up by the Opposition group.

Sogavare said he accepted the issues raised by Wale yesterday therefore the debate will start today which means the Parliament will only be left with two days to debate the 2021 budget.

"The debate will start today and ends on Monday," Sogavare said.

This is the second budget of the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DGCA) Government.

The Minister for Finance and Treasury Harry Kuma presented it to the Parliament on Tuesday on behalf of the DCGA government and the people of Solomon Islands.

Newsroom Honiara