3 May 2007

Niue government departments face massive cuts

2:17 pm on 3 May 2007

The chief executives of government departments on Niue have been told to cut spending by 18 per cent in the next financial year in order for the island to produce a balanced budget.

Early estimates show a deficit next year of 2.8 million US dollars.

The government's public expenditure committee has been meeting with the chief executives this week to look at some of the measures departments are considering.

Our correspondent on Niue, Patrick Lino, says there is a lot of concern on the island by this latest move by the government.

"This is going to be too hard to do and some of the departments say they have nothing to cut. Some of the departments we have spoken to have actually told us, that you know they have their operational budgets at the lowest, and if they cut anymore out of that and then they will have to lay people off because some of them will just have now work to do, if they come to work like that because there is no operation budget for them."

Our correspondent on Niue, Patrick Lino.

Niue's Finance Minister, Fisa Pihigia will meet New Zealand officials next week.