Do not take advantage of COVID-19 assistance: Minister for Finance

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.”

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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.

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