6 Apr 2004

Cook Islands budget committee to make decisions by early next week

3:56 pm on 6 April 2004

The Cook Islands budget committee is expected to make decisions by early next week on how much ministries will receive for their budgets.

The committee chairman, Don Beer Jr, says the bids from the ministries have far exceeded what is available.

He says the government has advised that this is a six monthly holding budget as a supplementary one will be put in place following the elections later this year.

Mr Beer says some of the ministries budget requests were high.

"A request from the outer islands - mainly capital machinery to basically cover their projects like harbours, agricultural sectors that require diggers and excavators and bulldozers and graders. The usual ministries which continue to struggle within their operations - health and education, and also police require some assistance in terms of getting them an appropriate budget."

Mr Beer says the committee will consider some of the more urgent requests this week but he's warning that ministries will be disappointed because there's insufficient money to meet all demands.