Thursday, 1 June 2017

SAMOA: New Zealand Contributes $US5.15 Million Dollars To Boost Tourism In Samoa.

The New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English, who is in Samoa for its 55th anniversary of independence, said helping to develop the tourism industry was a way to strengthen the bond between the countries.

He said enhancing tourism would increase economic growth and improve livelihoods in Samoa.

The funding will supplement work to upgrade the Apia waterfront, help redevelop the Savalalo Market, revamp the central Apia event space and build a clock-tower boulevard.

Mr English said Samoa had an enormous amount to offer international visitors.

Samoa's Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, is confident his government can build a resilient economy and ensure the community gets the service it demands.

The minister was speaking in Parliament on Wednesday during the presentation of the new Budget.

He said the government's financial priority would continue to be in education and health.

19.3 percent of the budget goes to education and 17.3 percent to health.

Sili said the government was to ease the tax burden on lower paid workers by lifting the tax free threshold so that nearly 15,000 workers would not have to pay income tax.

The minister said the government would also support exporters with a tax deduction equal to 50 percent of the profit made on exports, if the proceeds were remitted back to Samoa.

This would halve the tax currently payable on those profits.

The budget features total spending of 934 million tala [$US 362 million]

This would be funded by local revenue of 615 million tala [$US238 million] with another 237 million tala [$US92 million] cominge from external grants.

This would leave a deficit of 82 million tala [$US32 million].