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PM proposes for MPs to take a 20% pay cut

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 18/05/2020

Prime Minister proposed in Parliament for MPs to take a 20% pay cut due to the impacts of Covid 19.

He made the statement when briefing MPs about the government’s plan for the new financial year and the challenges they encountered since October last year.

As Parliament resumed this morning for deliberations on the budget estimate, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa first briefed the MPs about the government’s development projects and the challenges faced especially with Covid 19 and Cyclone Tino and TC Harold.

He adds despite the many challenges, government continues to assist those in need of urgent assistance especially completing the reconstruction of houses damaged by Gita in 2018 before continuing to the victims of Harold and Tino.

In addition, he emphasized the key issues to the budget, firstly the people’s preparedness and protecting of the nation from Covid 19 with hope it will never reach our shores, empowering the operations of related stakeholders in the fight against drugs, improving the education sector, food security and the development projects.

As PM wrapped up his remarks about the plans in place, he proposed to MPs to take a 20% pay cut due to the impacts of Covid 19. MPs are yet to express their views on the proposal, as Speaker adjourned the house for tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile from Parliament again the Finance Minister Tevita Lavemaau says the national budget will be a deficit budget due to impacts from the global pandemic and impacts of climate change, affecting Tonga’s economy.

He also adds the budget for 2020/2021 is 589.6 million pa’anga.

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