5 Jul 2006

Concern over services as Tonga pays out redundancy to hundreds of public servants

1:27 pm on 5 July 2006

There is concern in Tonga over how services will be maintained as hundreds of public servants take redundancy.

More than 800 workers across the public service began receiving redundancy payments on Friday last week as the government cuts back staff numbers before it pays huge wage increases to those that remain.

Dr Aivi Polika of the Public Servants Association says they are worried about the ability of the reduced staff to deliver services.

She also says the government should not have allowed teachers to take redundancy in the middle of the school year.

Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki of the Tonga Women's Action Group for Change says their main concern is that the money will quickly disappear as it is paid in lump sums, not instalments.

"So these lump sum payments mean that it is going to go at the click of a finger because these people who have chosen redundancy have done so because they have big massive loans at the bank."