14 Feb 2012

American Samoa governor eyes pension money to pay hospital

12:43 pm on 14 February 2012

American Samoa's governor Togiola Tulafono is asking the legislature to authorise the government that it may borrow eight million US dollars from the government's Retirement Fund to pay for hospital costs.

Togiola says the hospital's financial crisis has reached grave proportions and claims that in a recent meeting with the Board of the Retirement Fund, he was informed that government has paid down previous loans by about eight million dollars.

Togiola is proposing that ASG loan that amount from the Retirement Fund to alleviate the hospital's severe cash shortfall.

If the governor has his way, the loan would be paid back with new revenue that he had submitted to the fono last year.

These include a hike in business license fees, higher excise taxes for beer, alcohol and tobacco, and a $2,000 US dollar foreign corporation fee .