30 Jan 2007

Niue government looks to cut costs and overcome a funding shortfall

8:31 pm on 30 January 2007

The Niue government is considering several measures to cut costs, including staff working four day weeks, as it struggles with a budget shortfall of around a million US dollars

Premier Young Vivian says the debts have been accumulating for some years but the situation is now serious and this is why they are considering a shorter working week for public servants.

In last year's budget the government outlined plans to charge for some services that have been free, such as school bus services and some health services.

Mr Vivian says these charges are likely to be implemented shortly, but the government recognizes they will encourage more people to leave the island.

He says they are also reconsidering Niue's membership of some international organisations which he says can be costly for a small country.

"I don't believe that we need to join all those institutions. We will select a few institutions that are importance to us but I certainly think that very seriously at this point in time there is need to opt out or get away from some of those institutions."