28 Mar 2011

American Samoa government workers pawns in battle over budget

2:24 pm on 28 March 2011

American Samoa is facing the threat of public servants losing their jobs as the government continues to struggle to balance its books.

The governor Togiola Tulafono told local radio listeners at the weekend that if the Fono fails to pass other revenue generating bills the government would need to lay off workers.

He says because the Fono took so long to approve the increase in income tax the amount of money raised will fall short of the initial projections.

Togiola says the budget cannot sustain the current ASG payroll demands if government debts to businesses are also to be paid.

He says the Fono has rejected other initiatives to cut costs so workers are likely to lose their jobs.

Meanwhile the earlier cuts to the working hours of more than 3,000 public servants are to be lifted at the end of next month.