Gov’t: finances stable

Government finances are well managed and continue to remain stable, the Ministry of Finance and Treasury stated yesterday

It made the announcement in a statement to respond to claims in the local media that the government’s financial situation has worsened, forcing services such as electricity supplies, salaries or essential services to be affected because of non-payment of bills.

“Government finances are well managed and continue to remain stable and the Government remains committed to ensuring that critical services are supported and maintained throughout 2016 and into 2017,” the statement said.

“The Government continues to release cash for salaries and fixed costs such as utilities and has no issues with the disbursement of funds for such expenditures and public servants continue to be paid to deliver on their mandated roles and responsibilities,” it added.

“The Government is not directly responsible for the payment of utility bills across Provincial Governments, however it requires that responsible ministries bring their claims for fixed costs such as utility bills to the Ministry of Finance and Treasury in a timely manner to ensure that these payments are processed quickly, so as to avoid delays in payments for the basic operations of services, such as paying for electricity.

“Given the current trends across the economy, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to institute measures to take and that Line ministries are further required to make adjustments to their budgets to ensure that the government maintains a balanced budget and adheres to the Public Financial Management Act and sustains fiscally responsible targets.

“It is the duty of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to ensure that the Government does not run into high and unsustainable levels of debt or deficits.

“If there are changes to the economy that affect revenue, the Ministry of Finance and Treasury manages these changes through reprioritising spending.

“This does not affect overall cash flow, but instead ensures that essential services and important projects are funded throughout the year.

“Such adjustments also help to improve the efficiency of spending across Ministries.”

The statement added that, “delivering on the 2016 Budget without unnecessary disruptions remains the highest priority of the Government and that all basic services will continue to be delivered to the people of Solomon Islands.

“The Ministry of Finance and Treasury is open and remains committed to work with other line Ministries to achieve this objective.”

The ministry also announced in the statement that the proposed 2017 Budget has already been drafted and will be submitted on time for Parliament.

Source: Gov’t Communication Unit