13 Aug 2002

Claim that the Niue Government is intimidating people over Budget impasse

10:57 am on 13 August 2002

An Opposition MP in Niue says the Government is irresponsible to claim it will have to shut down many services if it has not passed its Budget in eight weeks.

The Budget, which has already been delayed a month, failed to pass last week.

The Government is planning to re-submit it on September 5th, when it hopes that three MPs currently in New Zealand seeking medical treatment will be back on the island.

But the Premier, Young Vivian and his Finance Minister, Toke Talagi, have warned the island faces grim problems if they are forced to delay the vote further.

They say unless there is access to appropriated funds within eight weeks, public servants will not be paid, schools will be closed and there would be no pension payments.

But opposition MP, and former finance minister, Terry Coe, says the Government can spend up to 25 percent of a department's budget for the new financial year, which could keep them going for up to six months.

"it is just intimidation and scare mongering amongst them putting it out to the people to frighten them that you know the schools and that could close and public servants wont get paid and I think that's very irresponsible and perhaps some of the public servants should come out and say that what the politicians are saying is not correct"