18 Jan 2016

Kilman hails record Vanuatu fiscal surplus

1:37 pm on 18 January 2016

Vanuatu's caretaker prime minister said the country ended 2015 with the country's biggest ever fiscal surplus - in excess of eight million US dollars.

Taking stock of a third consecutive financial year with fiscal surplus, Sato Kilman said he could not recall Vanuatu's fiscal position ever being so healthy.

The surplus comes despite a challenging year for Vanuatu, including the devastation caused to the services sector and agriculture by Tropical Cyclone Pam last March.

The Daily Post reports that the surplus was linked by Mr Kilman to public sector reforms, government policy and revenue-generating initiatives.

Mr Kilman attributed much of the surplus to assistance from donor countries as well as the China-based Vanuatu Economic Rehabilitation Program launched after Cyclone Pam.

The Program offers honorary citizenship sales, much like the earlier Capital Investment & Immigration Program, which Mr Kilman says he suspended because it failed miserably.

Later this week, Vanuatu is holding a snap election which was called after the dissolution of parliament late last year, following the jailing of 14 MPs, all members of the government, for bribery-related charges.

Mr Kilman and the remnants of his government have been criticised by the former opposition for using state resources in their election campaigns, despite being only in caretaker mode.

050514. Photo supplied. Pacific flags. Vanuatu

050514. Photo supplied. Pacific flags. Vanuatu Photo: supplied