A national budget of $164.07 million for 2017
The Minister for Finance and Economic Development, Hon Dr. Teuea Toatu, has proposed a total budget of $164.07 million for next year’s operation of Government. As $6.11million of that is expenditure already authorised by other laws, or statutory expenditure, the net amount of $157.96 million requires approval of Parliament. Spendings on education, health and policing take up 54% of the budget with the other 46% distributed amongst the remaining eighteen ministries. The total budget for next year represents an increase of 10% over the 2016 approved original budget of $149.14 million and a decrease of 6% under the revised 2016 budget of $175.36 million as made up of the original 2016 budget plus supplementary provisions for 2016 totalling $26.23 millionas approved in August and December 2016 meetings of Parliament.
The Minister stated that the major contributors to the 2017 budget increase were the copra subsidy ($25.1million); Land rent ($4.6 million), International contributions ($2.95 million), and local contribution to the development fund ($14.08 million). The provision for maintenance of government properties and assets has also been doubled from $500,000 to $1million.
The Minister also highlighted three new campaign policies that will be implemented next year namely, Mayors and Councillors salaries ($2.37 million) to take effect from the second half of next year, sitting allowances for school committees ($56,640), and a support grant for a newly established and government registered secondary school at Butaritari, St. Leo Senior Secondary School ($112,000).