11 Aug 2017

More calls for Tonga to ensure revenue measures are legal

2:25 pm on 11 August 2017

A former prime minister of Tonga says the government needs to ensure their revenue collection is legal.

Lord Sevele, formerly Fred, (Feleti) Sevele.  Former PM of Tonga.

Lord Sevele. Photo: wikicommons

Lord Sevele has said the government should consult with stakeholders about the purpose of the ongoing collection of revenue for the 2019 Pacific Games despite Tonga's withdrawal as host.

Revenue is being collected from a foreign exchange levy and a departure tax.

Sevele, who is also the former chairman of the Games Organising Committee, said the government's moves were unclear.

He said local businesses only backed the measures because they supported sports.

Although the games were not clearly specified on the taxes' legislation they were both put in place for funding the 2019 event and the construction of venues, he said.

This week parliament was adjourned until Monday after a number of MPs complained about the taxes and accused the government of illegally collecting revenue.

The government is expected to clarify the situation once the House resumes.