25 Nov 2003

PNG budget to be tabled amid concern over police allocation

5:04 pm on 25 November 2003

A tough new budget being tabled in Papua New Guinea could stall the recruitment of police, despite the country's growing crime problems.

The Treasurer, Bart Philomen, says it will be another tough budget because many debt servicing obligations are falling due.

The government had indicated it needs to make big savings in the budget.

Our correspondent Peter Niesi says one sector that will be affected is policing.

"One of the indicators that this has come true already is that the internal security minister who is also responsible for police has highlighted that there would be no new recruitment of policemen, and we face a strong law and order problem in PNG, but if that is the indication, then it looks quite likely that the recruitment might be something that's done either with great reluctance or could even face the possibility of being frozen."