26 Jun 2003

PNG Parliament told to tighten its belt

9:36 am on 26 June 2003

Papua New Guinea's Treasurer, Bart Philemon, has told MPs Parliament is unlikely to get more money despite reports its electricity could be cut unless an electricity bill of 34 thousand US dollars is paid today.

A new session of the Parliament began on Tuesday and the Speaker, Bill Skate told MPs that power had been cut on Monday, but reconnected with a promise the bill would be paid today.

He also said Parliament did not have the cash to pay MPs, their staff, or the pensions of former members, unless Treasury made a transfer of half a million US dollars by today.

But Mr Philemon told MPs that Parliament's monthly spending was 315 thousand US dollars over budget, and that the institution should tighten its belt.

He says if Parliament got more it would mean less for other departments and the provincial governments.