Tonga will come up with the 93 percent of the proposed national budget of TOP$545.1 million for 2016/2017 financial year.

The Finance and National Planning Minister Dr. ‘Aisake Eke had announced in Parliament in his Budget Statement last week the revenue will be collected from tax and non-tax revenue and budget support,

The rest of the seven percent which is $36 million from additional foreign donors and loan.

Of that seven percent, five percent is budget support from donors and loans for infrastructure projects from the Asian Development and the World Bank. Dr. Eke said the funding from ADB and World Bank continues on the revised 50/50 grant and loan basis rather than purely as a grant.

The total cash appropriation for the same financial is TOP$327.7 million.

Of the proposed Estimates, 52 percent which is $285.3 million comprised of the recurrent budget and 48 percent is budget allocation for infrastructure projects.

Under the recurrent budget allocation, 89 percent is to be collected from tax and non-tax revenue while 11 percent is the $30.2 million budget support from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, New Zealand, Australia and the European Union.

The proposed national budget reflect a 10 percent increase from its current 2015/2015 budget.

This prompted MPs to raise questions whether Government can finance its proposed Estimates.

It was also prompted when the Estimates confirmed, before the budget support from donor agencies the recurrent budget continues to run a cash deficits of about TOP$30 million. With that budget support a cash surplus has continued for the last two years.

Ha’apai 12 constituency MP Vili Hingano called on Parliament to reject the proposed Estimates from Government for the recurrent budget continues to run a cash deficits.

He recalled a budget statement by the Prime Minister in Parliament last year that 2016/2017 budget will reflect no cash deficit. For this reason Hingano said the proposed budget should not be passed in Parliament.

However Dr. Eke is confident Government can self-finance its proposed budget.

The Budget theme for this year is “Plan the work and work the plan with monitoring and evaluation.”

To work the plan is for Government to improve their management and attitudes, following prudent laws, rules and regulations, and encourage honesty and transparency with strong monitoring and evaluating to keep them on track.

This requires honest, accurate, and timely data to guide Government.
According to Eke it continues to be guided by Tonga’s national motto “God and Tonga are my inheritance and the Tonga Strategic Development Framework 2015-2015 (TSDF) impact.

The 2016/2017 Budget Statement also highlights that Government must plan their work by developing their corporate plan with their costing, that are align to support the national impact of a more progressive Tonga supporting higher quality of life for all.

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