Parliament adjourns to buy time for budget scrutiny

Inside the National Parliament. Photo: National Parliament of Solomon Islands

Parliament has adjourned to Monday, March 19 after Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela moved a special adjournment motion on the floor of Parliament today.

Prime Minister Houenipwela said the adjournment was intended to give the Public Accounts Committee time to thoroughly scrutinise the 2018 budget.

“I’ve talked with the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee about forwarding the budget for them to look at it starting this week,” he said.

Member of Parliament for Aoke/Langalanga and member of the Public Accounts Committee Matthew Wale said in a year of self-inflicted austerity, the committee has a duty to carefully inspect everything the Government proposes.

He said pressuring the committee to scrutinise the budget in a limited timeframe is unfair.

“The budget has not reached the Public Accounts Committee yet, has not reached Parliament yet — hopefully today, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow,” Mr Wale said. “And then to pressure the Public Accounts Committee to be working into the nights and over weekends, which we will do anyway, but my point is that it is not enough time.”

Mr Wale said the committee needs at least two weeks of hearings on the budget.

By Leni Dalavera

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