The Treasurer, Hon. Patrick Pruaitch MP, has condemned Members of the Opposition who sought to twist budget figures as an example of an Opposition that is running on empty.
"There were no substantive points that the Opposition could make to criticise the budget, so they resorted to distraction tactics,” the Treasurer said.
"The figures they were attacking are easily explained because the same formula was used in the 2016 budget and budgets before that.
"The figure of K21 billion they cited is comprised of our 2017 expenditure envelope of K13 billion, and standing debt of K8 billion that is comprised of Treasury Bills, Inscribed Stocks and other debt instruments.
"This is the total amount of debt that will be maturing and that we turn over during the 2017 year. It is not an expenditure item that we need to fund.
"This is the way that all Budgets have been put together since we have been in Government and since the time that the Opposition Leader was also Treasurer.
"This separate from sovereign debt and will reach maturity at varying times in the future.
“It would have been very good if the Opposition had come into the Parliament with the intention to debate policy based on fact, instead of using cheap tactics to try and distract the important budget debate."