1 Nov 2004

Forum ready to help pay arrears for government workers in Nauru

9:13 pm on 1 November 2004

The Pacific Islands Forum says it will help the Nauru Government meet wage arrears for its employees.

The Forum has welcomed the first moves by the week old Nauru Government in bringing in a Budget aiming at cutting public spending.

The Budget limits public workers wages, and increase duty on all imports, with the highest rises on alcohol, tobacco and petroleum.

The Budget sets public sector wages at a maximum of 100 Australian dollars a fortnight, but this comes after many workers, earlier in the year, were not paid or underpaid.

The Secretary General of the Forum, Greg Urwin, says they can assist with meeting the arrears through the Small Islands State funding to which Nauru has access and is held at the Forum.

"and in view of the conclusions, certainly that our folk, who have been over there recently have drawn, and some of the distress that they have seen among people - their difficulties in getting enough to make ends meet - we are quite happy to make that funding available"