19 Aug 2011

Opposition criticises Cooks government overspend

3:15 pm on 19 August 2011

The opposition party in the Cook Islands has criticised the government for overspending its 2010-2011 budget by more than 246,000 US dollars.

The President of the Democratic Party, Sean Willis, says the government needs to stick to its budget, rather than invest in last-minute projects like the Cook Islands National Olympic Committee loan.

He says the committee is facing a financial crisis, saying it needs a government loan to send its team to the Pacific Games in Noumea.

"Is it good government spending to be guaranteeing something like this at this stage when they have already overspent the 2010-2011 budget? It still hasn't been made clear how the loan is going to be paid back by the sporting body. It still needs to be ensured that taxpayers money won't be squandered."

The Office of the Opposition overspent its budget by a little over 1,000 US-dollars.

Mr Willis says it was the result of extra bills that hadn't been paid, but will be back in credit by the end of the month.