21 Jun 2007

Calls for Niue government to recover longstanding debts

11:26 am on 21 June 2007

There is a call for the Niue Government to try harder to recover longstanding debts before writing them off.

The Government intends writing off one point seven million US dollars, about three quarters of which is owed for diesel purchases by the government's Niue Power Corporation.

The remainder of the debts are for various government services, much of it owed by people who have died or have left the country.

The Finance Minister Fisa Pihigia says their auditor's advice is the debts should be wiped.

He says they have been told there is zero chance of recovering the money.

But Opposition MP, Terry Coe, says many think the Government needs to do more to get the outstanding money from those Niueans living overseas.

"What the people on the island are saying is why should we have to pay all our debts and people who go overseas don't have to and it's just totally wrong. And I think that too. We should collect all the debts."