17 Sep 2009

Solomon's tax boss says taxes being spent wisely

7:15 am on 17 September 2009

The Solomon Islands Inland Revenue Commissioner says people can have growing confidence the government is spending their taxes wisely.

Andrew Minto says hundreds of businesses have been drawn into the tax net this year, which has helped to boost the tax take by 41 percent to 115 million US dollars.

He says that compares to the worst days of the tensions when as little as 10 dollars a day was collected because of damage to the tax infrastructure and the reluctance of businesses to pay tax when it could end up in the hands of militant groups.

Andrew Minto says some people in the west might still question some government expenditure.

But he says from his observation Solomon Islanders can be increasingly confident their taxes are being used appropriately

"I think it's easy to look and point the finger and there will be examples, but I think the government is making every effort to ensure that the machinery of government is strong, that government departments do get the resources they need to operate effectively. I mean if I didn't believe that I wouldn't be here."