The Minister for Finance Crossley Tatui has told the Fono Ekepule not to take advantage of COVID-19 assistance.
Tatui was speaking during the recent deliberations on the national budget in Parliament highlighting the assistance being provided for COVID – 19 by New Zealand with additional funding of $6 million.
“Please do not make or use COVID-19 as a means to distort communications and waste our limited resources. We must remain vigilant, be expedient and compliant at all times.”
Tatui said Niue is facing tough socio-economic times due to the unplanned impact of the Covid-19 impact. As a result, a $5.7 million deficit budget has been projected.
“We will continue to face extremely unfavorable economic and financial circumstances during this fiscal year and perhaps the following fiscal years.”
The Fono Ekepule passed the Government’s appropriations bill for the 2020/2021 with a total expenditure budget of $32,504,000 and for the Investment and development projects $23,608,000.
The budget deficit is reduced by $1.5 million bringing the deficit from $7.2 million to $5.7 million.
The injection of $1.5 million into the Budget is from part of the $6 million budget support from the New Zealand Government.