While presenting the National Budget Address 2021/2022 in Parliament yesterday, Afioga emphasized that the new government will work together to avoid such a debt in the future.
“It is unfortunate for the new government to inherit such high debt but it is committed to start reforms on governance to include public finance management, debt sustainability and fiscal consolidation in general to build adequate fiscal space for ‘rainy days’ over the medium term.”
Afioga said “The Government has also paid close attention to addressing the economic decline resulting from the country’s border closures. In essence, the country faced many challenges during the last Parliamentary term, including the political standoff post elections.”
“It is the belief of the new Government that this Budget will be the starting point from where a more efficient and more directed use of Government resources can be actioned to ensure social harmony and secure shared prosperity for all the people of Samoa.”
Afioga also announced that the fiscal target for total public debt was 40% of GDP in the past.
“This target now stands at 50% of GDP. The Government’s total public debt to date has reached $1.0 billion, this is equivalent to about 50% of GDP. “
“The fiscal year 2020/21 estimated a budget deficit of -3.2% of GDP. The Budget currently before the House projects a deficit of only -2.5% of GDP. The government will continue to collect projected revenue, ensure the efficient allocation of expenditures; improve public sector efficiency and productivity as well as prepare for when emergencies and natural disasters hit.”