21 Nov 2011

PNG budget delayed by two weeks

8:09 am on 21 November 2011

The government of Papua New Guinea has postponed the release of its national budget because of a printing mishap.

Parliament is due to resume tomorrow, and the treasurer, Don Polye, was due to hand down the budget during the session.

However, Treasury now says the budget will be handed down in two weeks time.

The Post Courier reports the delay is to allow budget papers to be reprinted following last minute changes.

Mr Polye, says the spending plans are based on projected increases in revenue.

Our correspondent, Jonathan Tannos, says the government may have a free hand.

"If the other side of the House is refusing to sit on the opposition benches then there will be no opposition reply as required by standing orders. Unprecedented as it is, perhaps it will mean the Budget will get passed on the same day it's introduced."

The postponement means the government is now expected to hand down its budget in the same week the Supreme Court is due to hand down its decision into the constitutional legitimacy of Peter O'Neill's government.