27 Mar 2008

Solomons parliament debates budget

4:37 pm on 27 March 2008

The Solomon Islands parliament has been debating the 2008 budget tabled this week by the finance minister, Snyder Rini.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reports that the budget, which totals 200 million US dollars, includes budget support from development partners.

The re-current element of the budget totals almost 145 million US dollars, whilst the development segment is 55 million US dollars.

Mr Rini says the budget requires no borrowing and increase in debt, and that all national and financial resources are directed to programmes that will assist Solomon Islanders.

The minister says no funds will be held in reserves as cash floats or for contingencies, and that tax exemptions will be reduced.

The budget provision for raising the excise on beer, tobacco and other products which pose social or health risks, is one of the areas being discussed by MPs.