8 Dec 2011

Parliamentary debate of PNG's budget delayed a week

3:29 pm on 8 December 2011

Papua New Guinea's government has suspended a debate on the national budget by a week.

Treasurer Don Polye told AAP the debate had been put off until next Tuesday to allow the opposition a week to prepare their budget reply.

However the opposition claims the government is playing political games ahead of tomorrow's Supreme Court decision on the legitimacy of Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's election.

The former attorney general Sir Arnold Amet says the government has the numbers to vote the budget through now but is being irresponsible in not passing it.

Mr Polye introduced the budget on Tuesday - two weeks after it was first due.

The $US4.8 billion budget is the nation's biggest ever.

The opposition, based around loyalists of the former Somare government, has been boycotting some sessions of parliament.

Although the opposition was present for the tabling of the budget, Speaker Jeffery Nape did not ask them if they wanted to speak on it.