The national economy is expected to experience minimal growth this year, Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua reveals.Dr. Sikua highlighted this when addressing the nation during the country's 31st anniversary on Tuesday.
He said the nation continues to suffer the impacts of the global financial crisis and it is expected to continue through the next half of this year.
Prime Minister Sikua said measures to stabilize the nation's economy are now in place.
"Hard times like this call for hard decisions. We have to learn to live within our means, as we cannot afford measures like stimulus packages that big economies like Australia and USA are able to offer their citizens in times like this," the Prime Minister said.
He said the government has adopted a strategy to control government spending, placed freeze on recruitment, reprioritize and placed a 35% on the recurrent estimate in this year's budget.
"These are measures our country has turned to in its effort to maintain credible budgeting and strengthened government revenue collections as we begin to feel the effects of this economic downturn experienced worldwide."
Prime Minister Sikua said the government hopes to improve their revenue collections by placing increases on the rate of excise to certain goods, for instance, an increase on the rate of excise on alcohol and tobacco.
He assured the nation that the strategies adopted are "only temporary measures" taken by the government to stabilize the economy until situation improves.
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