7 Mar 2007

Tonga finance minister paints gloomy picture of Kingdom's economy

10:41 am on 7 March 2007

Tonga's Minister of Finance has warned that Tonga's economy will be struggling for survival during the 2007-08 financial year.

Matangi Tonga online reports that Siosiua 'Utoikamanu says the government has suffered a massive hit on its revenue stream following the losses suffered by the country's businesses last November.

The Minister has blamed the riots of November 16th for a serious deterioration in the Tongan economy.

He says that slower business activity caused by the events, comes on top of lower remittances and tourist receipts.

And he says these will all reduce tax revenues..

The Minister says the outlook is not good because businesses are going to take a while to return to normality.

He says in the meantime, the government will have to accept the fact that businesses will not be able to contribute sufficient revenues which the country desperately needs.