4 Jun 2012

Cook Islands Finance minister opens up the Budget

7:50 am on 4 June 2012

The Cook Islands finance minister Mark Brown has is to make one budget announcement a day before tabling the document Budget on June the seventh.

Mr Brown has released a general overview of the Capital Book, which earmarks funding for infrastructure and maintenance projects in Rarotonga and the pa enua over the next three years.

He has already announced the government's intention to increase import levies on tobacco and cigarettes by 33 percent annually over the next three years.

Mr Brown has also announced the budget makes provision for an increase in the old-age pension for Cook Islands residents over 70.

The measure will put the pension up by nearly US$40 per month for this year, with further increases to reach its target of doubling the pension within three years.