22 Feb 2007

Niue decides on a raft of cuts including workers' salaries reduced by ten percent

7:37 pm on 22 February 2007

The government of Niue has agreed to a raft of cuts, including cutting the salaries of all public servants by ten percent, as it tries to ease a financial crisis.

The cuts, which will also apply to MPs, may be lifted at the end of the financial year

Other cuts include village councils grants being halved, while those for church pastors and community development assistance have been frozen.

The finance minister, Fisa Pihigia, says they expect to save about a million US dollars through the changes which come after an outcry over earlier plans to reduce the hours of some public servants by 20 percent.

Mr Pihigia says the ten percent reductions will not lead to workers getting a day off each fortnight, but they might work fewer hours each day.

"That's what we are thinking of. One thing I don't want to jeopardise at the moment is the contribution of the workers to the super fund because of the deductions from their gross salary of ten percent. We want to retain those benefits for the workers, rather than extra hours off or extra days off."