15 Aug 2017

New deficit budget passed in Niue

9:43 am on 15 August 2017

There are signs of strain in the Niue economy with plans for an increase in pensions put on hold along with further wage increases for public servants.

A new deficit Budget has been passed while a series of new fundraising regulations, including a much higher departure tax, are being brought in.

Niue government buildings

Niue government buildings Photo: RNZ/ Sally Round

This comes just two months after the premier Sir Toke Talagi had described the Niue economy as robust.

But MP Terry Coe said a 40 percent wage rise given to some public servants was out of order and the bulk of the deficit is due to this wage increase.

He said MPs have already been told that other public servants will not get a wage rise this year.

"Also the NZ$500 for the pension per fortnight is not going to happen, and the money for the roads which in the present Budget is only NZ$100,000

is not enough to keep these roads maintained," Mr Coe said.

"We asked that it be increased to NZ$300,000 to help maintain the roads and they said they haven't got the money."