28 Jul 2010

Cook Islands drops more borrowing from China in "conservative" budget

9:38 pm on 28 July 2010

The Cook Islands Minister of Finance says the 2010/2011 budget is conservative and aims to curb debt.

Wilkie Rasmussen says the Cook Islands isn't going to borrow any more from China in order to avoid incurring more repayments after borrowing around 27 million US dollars so far.

He describes the latest budget as a stocktaking one.

"It has a view to encourage economic development, it has a view towards supporting the tourism industry here and of course at the same time, the maintanance of the public service and its activities, so there's no real surprises."

Wilkie Rasmussen says money has also been set aside to pay legal costs over the million dollar settlement for the failed Toa Fuel Farm scheme but added the exact amount owing remains a point of contention.

He says the supplementary budget for 2009/2010 will also be tabled.