6 Jun 2011

Samoa budget proposes increase on import duty and excise tax

9:06 am on 6 June 2011

Samoa's ruling HRPP government's first budget proposes an increase on the excise tax on tobacco from 4 to 5 percent as well as increasing the price of alcohol and soft drinks.

The tax on petroleum which was last adjusted a decade ago will increase to 2 US cents a litre starting on the first of this month.

The next financial year's total budgeted expenditure is more than 350 million US dollars, and represents a decrease of 6 percent over the current financial year which will end on June 30.

The projected overall budget deficit for the new financial year is estimated at 50 million US dollars - around 6.5 percent of GDP.

The minister of finance says the deficit is financed largely by highly concessional borrowing from development partners.

The education sector has been allocated 48 million dollars and 34 million has been allocated for the health sector.

The government has also allocated in the budget more than 350 thousand dollars for the country's national rugby team for the World Cup.