5 Aug 2010

American Samoa Senator says Heritage week money should be spent on health

3:36 pm on 5 August 2010

A senator in American Samoa says the territory needs to prioritise public spending on health rather than on Samoa Heritage Week in Samoa.

Governor Togiola Tulafono and the Treasurer were stopped this week from spending an unbudgeted fifty thousand US dollars of public funds on the celebrations after the High Court upheld a preliminary injunction.

Under the ruling no money can be spent without the prior approval of the Fono which next sits on August the 15th.

Senator Velega Savali says funds could be better spent on flying the around one hundred people requiring urgent medical treatment to Hawaii.

"I don't see why we have to go spend money in Hawaii when we have people sick in the hospital. Last year they spent US$275,0000 on this same activity. And that is the reason why I went to the court. I think we have different understandings and belief in priorities."

Senator Velega Savali.

The Governor is already in Hawaii ahead of celebrations.