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Discussion on the Budget Estimate continues this morning at the Legislative Assembly

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa ,18/06/2018

The Parliament Whole House committee continues the discussion this morning on the Budget Statement of the Budget Estimates.

Vava’u 16 MP ‘Akosita Lavulavu raised her concerned on the issue because on page 7 of the Budget Estimates it says that Tonga’s Economy is in a satisfactory condition but moving further on the Budget Estimates a different image is depicted.

Lavulavu says a report from UNICEF on page 44 of the Budget Estimates says one out of every 13 child in Tonga is only having one meal in a day instead of three meals.

She also raised the importance for the government to address the issue of unemployment.

Lavulavu also voiced her concerns about Tonga’s loan from overseas countries which is said to be more than $400 million pa’anga.

She says, this shows that Tonga is in a very critical condition. She adds, it is very clear that the country is heavily relied on Budget support from donor countries.

Meanwhile, Lord Tu’ivakano raised his concerned on the Budget Statement because it was not in line with the country’s vision to promote economic development.

In the second half of the discussion today, Tongatapu 3 MP Siaosi Sovaleni also raised his concerns about poverty and unemployment rate in Tonga. He also questioned the government’s plans to address this issue.

However, the Hon. Minister of Finance responded and said that the issue with poverty is real. He says there are plans put in place to help the country recover from the cyclone.

© Radio and Television Tonga News