3 Jun 2013

Samoa's new budget grapples with lack of revenue

1:42 pm on 3 June 2013

Samoa's government has tabled its new budget, with a renewed focus on rebuilding its economy through capital expenditure.

The finance minister Faumuina Tiatia Liuga has told parliament the challenge ahead is to find spending measures that don't impose hardships on the community and businesses, but admits there will have to be sacrifices.

According to the Samoa Observer, Faumuina says the budget is constrained by a lack of revenue and without major tax policy changes, current government spending is not sustainable.

Faumuina says the overall cash deficit is estimated at 35 million US dollars for the 2013/2014 financial year, but that will drop to a 30 million US dollar deficit in the following year due to the winding down of the cyclone recovery programme.

There is also an increase in direct budget support funds expected from the World Bank and other donors such as the European Union, and the Australian and New Zealand governments.