16 Jul 2003

Education and health avoid Cooks Budget cuts

4:19 pm on 16 July 2003

The Cook Islands Finance Minister, Terepai Maoate, says while the country's Budget has been cut by around four percent, education and health will receive the same allocation as last year.

Dr Maoate says the new budget of just over 48 million US dollars is a careful one and tightens controls on spending, and there will be cuts in such areas as the Ministerial support fund.

There had been concern the education and health allocations would be cut, but Dr Maoate says there was no way the government was going to underspend in areas important to the country's future.

"We were able to maintain the appropriation for those two, and the econonic development areas, we maintain our support for those areas, and most ministries, in fact all ministries have been provided for by prioritising their various projects in their own ministries."

Finance Minister Dr Terepai Maoate.