12 Jan 2015

Tonga's new PM wants official travel costs trimmed

12:58 pm on 12 January 2015

Tonga's new Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva has suggested cutting back on official travel to help the country live within its means.

In his inaugural speech to the nation, he said transportation and travel involving Tongan government officials would be the first area to come under the scrutiny of his new government.

Mr Pohiva says he wants Tonga to operate recurrent budgets which are funded solely through domestic funds and the civil service should be driving this.

He says the prime ministerial and cabinet budgets will be the first to be scrutinised and this will be followed by reviews of the civil service and each ministry.

Mr Pohiva says the cabinet will act first on minimising the cost of transportation, official travel and other expenditure.

He says if the government continues to allow donor nations to carry the burden of inefficient government services, it will have no integrity or credibility.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo: RNZ