3 Dec 2003

PNG government urged to reduce the public service

5:15 am on 3 December 2003

The Papua New Guinea opposition has accused the government of paying lip service to public sector reform and the privatising of State-owned assets.

The opposition leader, Sir Mekere Morauta, said in his budget reply that the public sector must be trimmed and adequately funded.

He says the government's structural reform leaves the size and functions of the public service as they are.

Sir Mekere says sacking all casual staff and freezing recruitment to control expenditure are sideshows with short-lived, limited effects.

He says functional review is the only rational way to identify retrenchment resulting in permanent expenditure reduction.

Sir Mekere says the government must focus its limited resources on goods and services and leave the rest to other entities in the economy to provide.