A prominent Cook Islands businessman, Brett Porter, says he is appalled by revelations of overspending by government officials.
This follows the warning by the Finance Secretary, Kevin Carr, in his fiscal update statement last week, that the increase in personnel costs in the 2004/5 financial year, is spiralling out of control.
Mr Porter, who is standing as an independent candidate in the upcoming September elections, says the public is appalled with the information and this will probably be reflected when they cast their votes.
However, he questions the timing of the Finance secretary's statement.
"One of the disappointments is that the financial secretary's criticism was of the government and is refreshingly blunt, but it's just rather disappointing that the public's been made aware of it after the fact. And the blowout, incidentally, represents almost six percent of our total national budget and it's just an appalling result."