The Minister of Finance Hon. Tatau Moeaki yesterday 2nd of June 2022 tabled in the Legislative Assembly of Tonga the government’s 2022/2023 Appropriation Bill.
The $764.7million Budget Estimates consists of $437 million of government budget support and $327.7 million from development.
While delivering on the Budget Statement, the Hon. Minister of Finance, Hon. Tatafu Moeaki announced a deficit of over $30 million.
The theme for the 2022/23 budget is “Accelerating Tonga’s Climate and Disaster Resilience through COVID-19 Recovery”.
The theme draws upon the experiences of the volcanic eruption in January and the spread of COVID variant Omicron in February.
The 2022/2023 budget is in line with TSDF and the recovery process, focusses upon Government Priority Agenda which reflects the resolve and commitment required to overcome these crises. The government has nine priority agendas and are grouped into three thematic areas:
1. Building National Resilience to external threats and risks
2. Improving the quality services and affordability of government services to the community
3. Progressive Economic Growth
The Budget 2023 prioritizes resources so that the government spending can be directed to ensuring the social wellbeing of Tongan citizens.
2022/2023 Appropriation Bill 2022 referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts
After the House passed the First Reading of the 2022/2023 Appropriation Bill 2022, the deliberations were on two sides, whether to continue to the Second Reading and then to the Whole House Committee or to refer the Appropriation Bill to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
However, after a vote, 14 MPs voted in favor to refer the Appropriation Bill to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts while 6 MPs voted against it.
Parliament is now adjourned until next Wednesday.