Cook Islands Finance Minister, Dr Terepai Maoate, has tabled a conservative 2003/2004 budget and called for a new era of financial responsibility.
Dr Maoate says the new budget of just over 48 million US dollars was a careful one and tightened controls on spending and directing spending towards priority areas.
Two main components from the government's new path to fiscal responsibility.
The first is the setting up of a reserve trust fund with an injection of just over 185 thousand US dollars.
The intention is that government will set aside money each year for the fund.
The second is a national plan in which the government will try to secure broad based community and political consensus for future prioity development areas.
The controversial ministerial support fund has been cut by over 232 thousand US dollars.