5 Jul 2021

Niue Govt facing huge deficit in 2021

2:05 pm on 5 July 2021

The Niue Government will have to manage with a budget deficit of more than $US3.2 million dollars in the coming year.

The speaker of parliament in Niue, Hima Douglas.

The speaker of parliament in Niue, Hima Douglas. Photo: BCN

Parliament passed the Budget on Thursday last week, expecting spending at $US23.4 million with revenue estimated to reach $US20.1 million.

Last month Finance Minister, Crossley Tatui, revealed plans for a fundamental rethink on the economy.

He is keen to get public servants back working five days instead of four, in order to increase productivity.

The four day work scheme was brought in by the previous Talagi government in lieu of a promised wage increase.

Mr Tatui is also considering bringing in charges for water and other user pays fees for government services.

The government is also preparing to reboot the economy after the destructive impact of the pandemic.

About 90 percent of the adult population has already received its first vaccine jabs as the country gets ready to let the tourists back in.

The island also has options other than tourism, given it is now connected to the Manatua submarine cable, which Premier Dalton Tagelagi has described as "world-class telecommunications infrastructure to expedite Niue's technological future."

He said last year "it will enable a digital platform for improvements to education, health, other government services and to the private sector enhancing the business and tourism markets."