MY EARLIER blog piece on the fraudulent nature of Papua New Guinea's 2017 budget created interest and some commentary.
The blog was sad to write. I made a promise in Madang in 1978 after a visit to Hedamili just out of Tari that I would aim to make a contribution to this wonderful country of Papua New Guinea.
I believe in public policy and the importance of debating ideas and facts. I also believe strongly in the future of PNG.
My growing concern is that the current government is not serving those broader interests. But I am an outsider, and it is up to the people of PNG to decide their future.
There is much commentary in Australia currently about the prospects of Donald Trump becoming President.
As Australians, our moral values and broad belief in democracy and the open debate of ideas means many commentators express strong views on the potential implications of the United States presidential outcome.
I think that is healthy – open debate is a linchpin for real democracy. This is not seen as foreign intrusion.
Of course, the government will either increase its attacks on me (probably talking about some self-interested advisor linked with a specific political party – which is just not true) or just ignore me. The prime minister has already banned me from the country.
I regret that deeply, as I would like to spend time with friends in PNG. Possibly, more wise advice could have led to very different outcomes – and I could have been more deeply involved in internal debates on how to ensure better development outcomes for the people of PNG.
My approach will continue to provide non-partisan factual analysis. This information is going to everyone – all parties within the government coalition, as well at PNG Treasury and the Bank of PNG, private sector contacts, media and non-government members. My advice is also available for confidential input on economic prospects.
I am willing to provide such advice to all through emails or interviews or speeches. My latest article is available here.
I’ve also updated the recent blog article on the fraudulent budget to clarify this sad claim more specifically.
The next blog will examine in more detail the unrealistic claims on the budgets revenue, expenditure and financing sides. The budget deficit will be bigger. The debt level will exceed the Fiscal Responsibility Act ceiling. And budget deficit financing plans are unrealistic.
Paul Flanagan is Director of Indo-Pacific Public Policy and Economics Pty Ltd. Website: www.pngeconomics.org