The Speaker of the House in Tonga has questioned a nearly 100,000 US dollar increase in the budget of the Prime Minister's Office for the new financial year.
Radio Tonga reports that the estimated budget of the Prime Minister's office for the 2015/16 financial year has increased despite 'Akilisi Pohiva's stated desire to cut costs.
Koro Vaka'uta reports.
The Speaker of the House and former Prime Minister Lord Tu'ivakano raised the issue of the budget increase during deliberations on Monday. Tu'ivakano says the Prime Minister's office current budget stands at around 390,000 US dollars but the new estimate is for more than 488,000 dollars. In response to the Speaker's enquiry, Prime Minister Pohiva said the money will be allocated on wages of new staff recruited to his office. Mr Pohiva says this is part of his office's efforts to recruit appropriate skills and expertise required for certain jobs.