25 Jun 2010

Tonga finance officials blamed for wrong figures on King's Privy Purse

9:44 am on 25 June 2010

The Prime Minister of Tonga, Dr Feleti Sevele, says incompetence by finance officials sparked what he says are incorrect claims that King George Tupou the 5th is to receive a huge increase in his personal allocation.

Pro-democracy MP, Isileli Pulu, quoting the Budget estimates, revealed the King's to get an increase in his Privy Purse allowance of nearly two hundred percent.

He also says some of the money was to come from aid donors.

But Dr Sevele says both claims are wrong.

He says finance officials made errors in compiling the estimates and failed to make allowances for costs previously covered by the King but now paid by the state.

Dr Sevele says this includes the costs of the facility where the King entertains diplomats.

"That used to be paid by him and that was changed over the past year because official functions should be paid for by the state and unfortunately, despite the explanation we gave and pointing out of the mistakes in the entry of the figures in the Budget, they refused to accept it."

Dr Feleti Sevele