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Tell the truth!

‘Country’s finances remain disturbing’

THE continuous reassurance that the country’s financial situation is stable and has nothing to get taxpayers worried is being strongly questioned again.

Island Sun has attempted to get clarification on the issue from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury since May this year and has been unsuccessful in getting a response to the country’s financial situation.

The Minister Hon Snyder Rini strongly told Parliament in the last few sittings that the Government’s finances are intact and stable and the media is confusing people on the state of the country’s finances.

Hon Derrick Manu’uari has also come out openly stating through social media stating Members of Parliament on both the Opposition bloc and Independent have openly said it is true the Government’s finances are not in a good state.

Those familiar with the country’s financial patterns say that the truth is that the country’s expenses has far exceeded revenue collected.

They added that some of the country’s huge expenses are not accounted for in the budget meaning Parliament will most probably have to seek another supplementary from Parliament.

They further added that when the Government comes around to spend on budgeted for items – commitments by the Government, there is little or no money as most of it has been diverted to unbudgeted for items and payments.

They then said that revenue collection is in line with the Ministry of Finance and Treasury’s forecast but spending is beyond the line and there is very little monetary support for actual budgeted for items.

The Parliamentary Opposition Group has again called on the Minister of Finance & Treasury Snyder Rini, to tell the truth about the current financial situation of the country.

In a statement yesterday, the Opposition Group said it is only hypocritical to keep on denying that there is no serious financial problem.

“This is not the first time we are raising this issue. The last time we did, the Finance Minister has denied any cash flow difficulty and that our finances are stable. However, it has not been reflective of the frequent problems of payments to service providers, suppliers, contractors and our students under scholarships,” it said.

The Opposition Group also said the recent revelation by the National Training Unit (NTU) Director in the Solomon Star Wednesday this week that the ‘Government basket is empty’ is alarming.

“The fact that it has been revealed in this case relating to the delay of payment of allowances to students overseas is a worrying situation,” it said.

The Opposition statement said they have received reports and are aware of certain Government ministries that are currently faced with problems with unpaid office rentals, halting of Government work programs because of lack of funds; which have caused a lot of frustration amongst public servants as well.

Therefore, the Opposition Group has urged the Finance Minister to tell the truth.

“There is nothing wrong in admitting that we are facing financial difficulties. In fact, by informing us and the nation as a whole will help us look for alternatives to address this current situation. And we can start with the Government listening to its people and stop unnecessary spending on unbudgeted items,” the statement said.

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