THERE is a famous quote attributed to Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.
When I saw Patrick Pruaitch’s recent denouncement of the O’Neill government of which his political party, National Alliance, is a key coalition partner, it reminded me of the noble actions of our PNG National Party parliamentary leader, Kerenga Kua.
On 13 April 2016, a year ago, he resigned from the National Alliance when his conscience and moral compass would not allow him to accept Peter O’Neill and his government, which he felt was destroying the country, our economy and lowering governance and accountability from acceptable standards.
Where was the National Alliance’s conscience then? Where was the leadership of Patrick Pruaitch then? When he had the authority and power to intervene but refused to at that time, he is equally culpable for the sins of O’Neill and his coalition.
I will start this conversation about the PNG budget with the key indicator of fiscal management – the level of debt.
From there I will discuss the budget deficit and then touch upon the economy. Next I’ll walk through what I call the headline issues.
From this you will see that it has been an unprecedented scale of financial mismanagement, mistruth and a recklessness that seems to be a deliberate sabotaging of the national interest.
This is a sad story of failure and the true costs are yet to be revealed. The adjustment required will be painful for our people.
I have been selective in the topics I talk about because of time constraints, but the key message is one of a failed government that is driving our proud country to its knees.
We see evidence of this already when this government went cap in hand to the Australian government to beg for budget support.
This disgraceful begging was met with a stern rebuff from the Australian government. This is a national embarrassment. It is shameful for a country that boasts of $US20 billion LNG project and with another one just around the corner to beg.