22 Jun 2020

Tonga passes Budget with record $US26.4m deficit

4:34 pm on 22 June 2020

Tonga's Parliament has unanimously passed a $US260 million National Budget for the coming year with a biggest ever deficit of over $US26.4 million

Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa

Photo: Tonga government

The Ministry of Finance receives the biggest allocation with $73 million, while education and health get over $32 million and around $31m respectively.

The Covid-19 economic impacts have struck the kingdom as well as uncertainty over a change in government approach since the death of the late prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva last September.

Since coming into power seven months ago Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa declared the formation of a new political grouping and selected a new cabinet.

Local news service Matangi Tonga reported it had yet to receive an official copy of the Budget Statement or National Budget itself so details were few and far between.

However a proposal by the Prime Minister for MPs to contribute 20 percent of their salary to government to counter the impacts of Covid-19 did not pass.