25 Apr 2006

CNMI governor says reliance on deficit spending has to end

11:16 am on 25 April 2006

The Governor of the Northern Marianas has called for an end to the government's addiction to deficit spending and has vowed to oppose any tax hikes and continue to cut costs.

In his State of the Commonwealth Address, Governor Benigno Fitial also revealed that the government's cumulative deficit is now 155 million US dollars.

The Marianas Variety newspaper reports Fitial saying he will not allow the government to borrow from their children's future.

He said the deficit has grown from 48.8 million in 1998 to $108 million in 2005 and it was time to stop this growth in the deficit.

The governor summed up the financial state of the government as broke.

The CNMI also owes 246 million dollars in bonds and loans, including interest.

Governor Fitial said that the previous administration had hired 640 additional employees, and that 75 percent of the government's earnings went into personnel costs.