PAC cut 4.7 million off the government’s deficit to $9 mil in a total expenditure budget of $52.2 million

PAC Chairperson John Tiakia (left) and Finance Minister Crosssley Tatui (right)

The government’s budget was passed by the Fono Ekepule on Wednesday last week with a reduction in the deficit from $12.5 million to $9 million.

The budget estimates were introduced in the Annual Appropriations Bill 2022 by the Premier in May with a total expenditure budget of $56.9 million for the financial year starting July 1st 2022 to June 30th 2023.

On Wednesday last week, the minister of Finance Crossley Tatui introduced the Appropriations Bill back to the Fono Ekepule with the adjustments and importantly the reduced deficit budget, which now stands at $52.2 million dollars.

The Public Accounts Committee of the Fono Ekepule chaired by John Operator Tiakia were asked to analyse the budget and where possible reduce the expenditure estimates, a task they did by cutting $4.7 million off the deficit, reducing it from $12.5 to $9 million dollars.

The draft estimates for Donor Investment and Development expenditure were cut from $10 million introduced in the first reading to the final approved budget of $7.3 million.

BCN News provides this in-depth look into the government’s budget, comparing the voted budget for this Financial Year and the budget for the new FY by ministry and government department/agency.

Ministry /DepartmentsBudget Vote 2021/2022Budget Vote 2022/2023
Central Agencies  
Office of Premier and Cabinet$1.16 million$1.45 million
Niue Assembly$950,000$1.103 million
Office of the Secretary to Gvt$1.04 million$1.09 million
PMCU$344,000$371,000
Crown Law$419,000$474,000
Public Service Commission$1.54 million$1.64 million
Police$752,000$820,000
Total Central Agencies$6.22 million$6.96 million
Finance  
Corporate & Treasury$1.32 million$1.44 million
Tax and Customs$446,000$602,000
Economic development, Trade & Investment, Immigration & Statistics$273,000$1.12 million
Total Finance$2.04 million$3.17 million

From the Central Agencies, the largest increase in expenditure budget is in the Niue Assembly budget an increase from under to over the $1 million dollars mark, with a total of $6.9 million. The Office of the Secretary to Government also includes the External Affairs and the Niue High Commission which are both substantial in expenditure.

For the ministry of Finance, the largest increase in the expenditure is in the establishment of the new ministry which will result in the increase in salaries of new directors in the new departments of Economic Development and Planning, Department of Trade and Investment, Department of Immigration and Department of Statistics, increasing the Finance budget from the current $2.04 million to $3.17 million. Tax and Customs also received a nearly $200 thousand dollars increase in expenditure in the new budget.

Ministry /DepartmentsBudget Vote 2021/2022Budget Vote 2022/2023
Social Services    
 Education$3.28 million$3.81 million
Health$3.21 million$3.51 million
Justice, Lands & Community$5.46 million$5.90 million
Taoga Niue$377,000$377,000
Total Ministry of Social Services$12.34 million$13.60 million
Natural Resources  
Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries$965,000$1.14 million
Environment$304,000$555,000
Met Office$251,000$251,000
Total Natural Resources$1.52 million$1.95 million

The ministry of Social Services budget largely remains the same with a few hundred thousand increase to the Justice, Lands and Community Services budget mainly in the Land management division with an increase of more than 100K. It is not clear in the budget figures if there is a budget for the running of the General Elections expected to take place in the first half of next year.

An interesting increase though in the ministry of Natural Resources budget with the Department of Environment expenditure budget increase of $250,000.

The slight increase for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries takes their budget to over one million dollars in the new FY.

Ministry /DepartmentsBudget Vote 2021/2022Budget Vote 2022/2023
Infrastructure     
Utilities$924,000$1.23 million
Transport$1.92 million$2.37 million
Civil & Quarry$1.42 million$1.57 million
Niue Power$1.86 million$2.13 million
Total Ministry of Infrastructure$6.13 million$7.31 million
Commercial & Trading  
Niue Tourism Authority$429,000$534,000
Bulk Fuel$3.91 million$6.14 million
Total Commercial/Trading$4.34 million$6.68 million

All the departments in the ministry of Infrastructure will have increased expenditure budgets in the new Financial Year with Niue Power and Transport departments both exceeding the $2 million annual budget.

Not surprisingly the Bulk Fuel expenditure will increase to reflect the global increasing costs of oil taking their budget from $3.9 to over $6 million dollars in the new FY.

An increase of just over one hundred thousand dollars for the Tourism expenditure budget under the Recurrent budget. The bulk of the tourism marketing and product development is funded by the NZ government.

The government is expecting to generate $42.2 million in the new FY.  BCN News will continue with the revenue budget in our next Talking Budgets series.

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