19 Mar 2013

Vanuatu minister concedes unbudgetted spending

4:11 pm on 19 March 2013

The Vanuatu finance minister, Charlot Salwai, has told parliament that last year large sums of public funds were spent without being budgetted for.

This comes as the government faces an unprecedented budget deficit.

He says in 2012, the government allocated more than a million US dollars for deeds of release payments to clear debts, 800,000 dollars for new government vehicles and 1.5 million on fuel for government vehicles - none of which was budgetted for.

In addition another 1.5 million dollars was spent on government vehicle repairs and maintenance, yet only 600,000 had been budgetted for.

Mr Salwai has tabled a 2013 budget of 260 million US dollars, fifty percent higher than last year.