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PM announces 60m pa’anga stimulus package

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 2/04/2020

The Prime Minister has announced a 60 million pa’anga economic and social stimulus package in response to the declaration of the state of emergency due to coronavirus.

During a press conference this morning, Hon. Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa reaffirms Tonga is still coronavirus free and urges the public to continue practicing hygienic lifestyle as Tonga is still vulnerable to the coronavirus.

“The stimulus package is to step up Tonga’s capacity in health care and commitments for essential services, relief assistance for affected businesses and people.”

Finance Minister Hon. Tevita Lavemaau says, that employees who are affected from the lockdown will receive similar assistance from the government.

He adds, as part of the impact from the restrictions imposed, there would be a loss of 35-40 million pa’anga from revenue government would not be able to collect during this time.

“The 60 million pa’anga stimulus package is funded from foreign aid and also the current budget and is divided to 9 clusters established when Gita made landfall in 2018. “

CEO of Finance Balwyn Fa’otusia and her team elaborate on the stimulus package and how it is allocated to the 9 clusters.

“22.4 million pa’anga is allocated for the economic and social recovery cluster aiming to aid the affected businesses, employee support and the community livelihood. 3.8 million pa’anga is for the education cluster, 300thousand pa’anga is for the emergency telecommunication cluster,1 million for the essential services, 3.2 million pa’anga for the food security, 22.5 million for the Wash Cluster, 1.6 million pa’anga for the logistics and coordination, 1.3 million pa’anga for the safety and protection cluster and 4 million pa’anga for the shelter cluster. “

During the Press Conference with the PM, the CEO of Revenue and Customs Kelemete Vahe announced that government plans to waive all taxes in Tonga until June expect the PAYE tax.

© Radio and Television Tonga News