Leader of Opposition Manasseh Sogavare has warned that the government's reliance on customs duties and goods tax collection for the 2009 development budget could be chaotic.

Mr. Sogavare issued the warning in Parliament yesterday in his response to the 4-billion dollar budget tabled by the Finance Minister.

He said the Opposition is concerned about government's anticipated increase in revenue collections in an environment clouded with financial uncertainty.

He said the Finance Minister attributed the increase in collection this year to improved compliance by taxpayers and an increase in the price of goods for the calculation of goods tax.

But, Mr. Sogavare said the price of goods is expected to fall in 2009 depending on the outcome of a resolution by member countries of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

He said government is encouraging a forced recession in 2009, contrary to the claim that it is supporting the growth of businesses and the economy.

Mr. Sogavare disagreed with government move to cushion the country from the effects of the global financial crisis by tackling inflation.

He said unless government takes a bold move to fix the Solomon Islands exchange rate at a reasonable level against the strong currencies of its trading partners, government can do very little to control inflation.

Source: SIBC