20 Jun 2002

Samoan finance minister says there are no plans to tax farm incomes

6:59 pm on 20 June 2002

Samoa's finance minister, Misa Telefoni, has told parliament the government will not impose income taxes on the country's farmers.

Speaking during debate on the budget, Misa said the government had decided not to follow advice that the time had come for such a move.

The minister says it would be too difficult for them to get accountants to audit their books and other documentation that Inland Revenue requires.

He also said that clergy would not be taxed despite some of them earning thousands of dollars a year.

He says clergy contributed much spiritually and to the development of the country.

The advice to tax farmers followed reports that one farmer had hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank when he died and another - a cocoa planter - had bought two houses for his children in New Zealand and freehold land on Upolu Island.