2 Oct 2006

Tongan parliament reconvenes after death of king

12:09 pm on 2 October 2006

The Tongan Parliament reconvenes today amid a month of mourning following the death of King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.

The government is under pressure to pass financial and tax legislature that will see the kingdom meet the requirements of the World Trade Organisation.

In June, the WTO gave Tonga time to amend its tax laws before it would be eligible for membership.

Tonga has to cut its subsidies, increase sales tax and abolish personal exemptions.

Our correspondent in Tonga, Mateni Tapueluelu says in simple terms it means more tax for the people.

"Most of the bills the government is introducing this year has to do with tax reform that should be in line with the WTO requirements, they are trying to pass these bills with regards to duty, tax reform, sales tax, so that is does meet the WTO requirements."

Mateni Tapueluelu says Tonga hopes the reforms will be enough to comply with World Trade Organisation requirements.