23 Jun 2016

Sanitoa says American Samoa debt 'worrisome'

2:22 pm on 23 June 2016

A candidate for lieutenant governor in American Samoa has criticised the local government for accumulating long-term debt of nearly 150-million US dollars.

American Samoa's House of Representatives chamber during the vote on the bill to increase salaries.

American Samoa's House of Representatives chamber during the vote on the bill to increase salaries. Photo: Supplied

Lawmaker Larry Sanitoa is the running mate for governor candidate, Faoa Aitofele Sunia in the November race.

Mr Sanitoa says there is a serious need for responsibility of government finances at all levels.

He says the main priority for their administration would be to implement a comprehensive plan to control spending on critical needs.

Mr Sanitoa says the economic landscape, the private sector and ability to generate money for reinvestment is of great concern.

He says the more than 149 million dollars in debt from the American Samoa Economic Development Authority is most worrying with people obligated to pay off the debt over the next 20 years.

The two say they hope American Samoa doesn't find itself in the same situation as Puerto Rico, which is struggling to pay back bonds and sought a federal government bailout.

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