11 Sep 2008

Niue Parliament considering record budget

5:58 am on 11 September 2008

The Niue Parliament will meet today to consider a record budget of 16 point seven million US dollars.

While Niue regularly fails to balance its budget, the Government says it needs to spend more to ensure it functions properly.

Don Wiseman has more.

"Niue is heavily reliant on New Zealand for budget support but the island's Public Expenditure Committee says the restrictions imposed by Wellington can frustrate the Government's efforts to run the country. It says the new administration should have the opportunity to practise good governance and accountability. It says there needs to be more money spent for the effective running of the Government. It says many departments are being forced to run on too little money and with too few staff. The PEC also called for improved productivity within the public service; for MPs to forgo a significant planned wage rise; a cap on government funded travel; more transparency in the public tender process and thought given to trimming back memberships of international agencies. It also says the Trade Office in Auckland should be closed and the Government consider privatising some services."