17 Jun 2015

Cooks budget presented to Parliament

2:41 pm on 17 June 2015

The Cook Islands Finance Minister, Mark Brown, has presented his budget to the Parliament.

Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown

Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown Photo: Phillipa Webb / Cook Islands News

Mr Brown said the government had to be smart about spending and the use of resources.

The One Cook Islands leader, Teina Bishop, accused the government of releasing the budget prior to it being presented in Parliament, and asked the Speaker, Nikki Rattle, to probe its legality.

Mr Brown said the government had helped with the installation of 2,000 water tanks on Rarotonga, and will keep focusing support for the Te Mato Vai water network.

The budget will also see an increase for pensioners over the age of 70, who will get an extra $10 a month, starting from this July, and another $10 increase from July 2016.

The Prime Minister, Henry Puna, also outlined the planned voluntary retirement programme, saying those 60 and over will be offered payments to retire to help create jobs for young people.