26 Jan 2010

Conservative spending for next budget, says Cooks Finance Minister

9:15 pm on 26 January 2010

The Cook Islands Minister of Finance says there will be conservative spending in the next budget.

Cabinet has plans for the next parliament sitting to be called to pass the budget, which is expected to be around mid-year and just before the general election.

Wilkie Rasmussen says work is ongoing on the budget and some financial decisions made by the previous government have cost the country vast amounts of money.

He says for example the amount of repayments to a Chinese bank for a loan to build local roads needs to be reviewed.

"My advice to the current cabinet and to the Prime Minister is that we approach the country with a strong sense of conservatism in the way that we're going to spend money. Let's look at the things that we can achieve rather than the major infrastructure projects where we have to borrow lots of money."

And he says legal costs incurred over the million dollar settlement for the failed Toa Fuel Farm scheme may also require extra funding allocation.