30 Apr 2007

Tonga's Finance Minister again expresses concern over decline in government revenue

10:57 am on 30 April 2007

Tonga's Minister of Finance, Siosiua 'Utoikamanu, has again expressed his concern over the projected significant decline of government's revenues.

He is urging tighter government spending, and warning that government has few options for recovery after its reserves were used to pay for the civil service pay settlements last year.

In a statement issued over the weekend, the Minister said a drop in revenue projections was caused by the revenue loss and lower consumer spending after the riots last November.

He warned the revenue reform programme will help add revenue through improved compliance.

The Matangi Tonga newsite says the revenue reform programme will help generate funds through improved compliance.

But he said this reduced money in the private sector in the short-term and hit the profitability of private businesses affected the November riots.