Business should help in housing, tax reform

EMPLOYEE housing and tax reform were among some of the issues raised by PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in a meeting with business leaders last week.
Business should help in housing, tax reform Business should help in housing, tax reform Business should help in housing, tax reform Business should help in housing, tax reform Business should help in housing, tax reform

The meeting reaffirmed the close partnership between government and the private sector and as "partners in nation building", O'Neill urged businesses to provide employee housing.

He said stable home environments would boost economic productivity, highlighting a government housing program with the Bank of South Pacific.

"One of the key initiatives has been to partner with BSP, where we have allocated K200 million for the Housing Loan Scheme," he said.

"We urge the business community to know that this is not only for public sector employees but for every citizen in the country.

"We encourage the private sector to participate, because if you look after your employees they will look after your business."

Loans from the scheme are available at an interest rate of 4% over 40 years.

O'Neill also assured the business community that tackling regulatory issues were a priority for the government and despite some resistance from bureaucrats, there was "light at the end of the tunnel".

"The environment in which business regulations have been carried out in some of some of our public services has been discouraging at times, to say the least," he said.

"They feel comfortable with current environment and they do not want changes. They resist it with a lot of determination, and it is a resistance that we will certainly overcome.

"I want to assure you that reforms will be taken forward. I know it has taken us over two years to get there, but I can assure you that we are making some steady progress."

Tax reform was another issue raised with business representatives, with O'Neill advising those in attendance that a review of the tax system would be completed this year, and that his government was a business-friendly and focused government.

"There is a desire for reductions in some of the tax rates," he said.

"But again we must expand the tax base so that every citizen, and every business pays their fair share, so we can continue to build in the investments that we are making such as infrastructure, health and education."

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