12 Jul 2013

Niue eyes tax hikes to balance budget

12:49 pm on 12 July 2013

The Niue government is planning new taxes to cover costs associated with climate change and roading maintenance.

The premier, Toke Talagi, this week presented his budget statement, saying a balanced budget would be put forward.

Don Wiseman has more:

"He told the Fono that GDP is growing, with more tourists as a result of a second flight to the island, which started on a fortnightly basis from the beginning of the high season. Mr Talagi gave no details on the nature of the new taxes but alluded to a bed tax. He says planned wage rises in the public service have been put on hold until the government's transformation of the sector is complete. This has included giving workers grants to move into the private sector and putting some managers on contracts rather than salaries. Also involved is a new management regime aimed at improving performance and service delivery. The transformation also includes a new primary school and other public facilities, such as a new airport tower, and buildings to house government agencies. While much of Niue's budget funding comes through the New Zealand aid programme, Mr Talagi has pointed out that Niue is one of few countries to have given wage and benefit increases in recent years."