24 Oct 2003

Tongan Legislative Assembly begins debating on bold tax changes

5:02 pm on 24 October 2003

Tonga's legislative assembly has begun debate on the Consumption Tax Bill which is aimed at reducing all taxes to 15 percent and duties to 10-percent across the board while some goods will be exempted.

The current tax rate is about 51 percent.

The Government wants the bill to be passed in the current session of the House, but the people's representative for Tongatapu, Akilisi Pohiva, has asked for it to be deferred until next year to allow MPs time to study it.

The Minister of Finance has asked the House if he could hold a special meeting with some MPs to brief them on the technicalities of the Bill.

It's expected that discussion of the Bill will continue on Monday.