7 Jun 2007

Niue finance minister says more savings needed in next budget

3:30 pm on 7 June 2007

The Niue Finance Minister, Fisa Pihigia, says the government needs to shave about 1.3 million US dollars off the budget for the coming year.

He says Niue is on target to achieve a balanced budget, or possibly a small surplus this year, aided by the temporary ten percent cuts it made to public servants wages earlier this year.

Those cuts were to be restored at the end of this month when the financial year ends, and while Mr Pihigia says extending them is an option, it is one he is reluctant to take.

"That is one of the options that has been proposed but I am not too keen on that because if that happens and we are going to increase the charge for electricity is going to have an enormous impact not only on those wage workers but the whole community."

Fisa Pihigia says other possible cuts could include to funding of creche services on the island and the withdrawal of cars for some senior public servants.