10 Nov 2015

Solomons supplementary budget defended

5:08 pm on 10 November 2015

The Solomon Islands finance minister has reiterated the government has a constitutional right to spend contingency money on a regional meeting and the Pacific Games team.

Solomon Islands finance minister Snyder Rini is sworn in by Governor General Sir Frank Kabui as Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare looks on.

Solomon Islands finance minister Snyder Rini is sworn in by Governor General Sir Frank Kabui as Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare looks on. Photo: RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

The government spent nearly US$4.5 million on the recent Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting and participation in the Pacific games in Papua New Guinea earlier this year.

Snyder Rini's comments came in his supplementary budget speech in response to criticism from MP Mathew Wale, who told the Public Accounts Committee the spending was not for unforeseen events and was therefore unconstitutional.

Mr Rini says while the events were not unforeseen the expenses were larger than forecast.

Parliamentary debate on the supplementary budget continues today and once passed will regularise a total of US$24 million in unbudgeted government spending.