NZ govt commits to Pacific broadcasting in the region

RNZ Pacific broadcasts into the wider Pacific on shortwave 24 hours a day, collaborating with 22 broadcasting partners across the region.

Its current primary transmitter is nearing end of life, and its other transmitter has in effect already been retired.

The announcement was made as part of New Zealand's Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi's plans for the new public media entity which is set to operate next year.

Budget cut claims untrue: Samoa PM

Fiame was responding to Sili’s claims that there would be budget cuts especially in the health and education sectors.

“There are many ways that the government spends money in communities so it’s either we reorganize how government spends money and put it in package that we are seeing in something that we want to develop but there are different ways of doing it,” Fiame said at a press conference.

“I don’t see that there will be (any) cutting. We will not be cutting anything from the education of health (sectors) and if anything we’ll probably be putting more money there.”

$18 million tala benefits for Samoa’s mission and private schools

Church-run and private schools, Early Childhood Education and schools for those with special needs will benefit for the Government’s “One Common Grant” initiative, which will have $18 million tala at its disposal.

Savali Newspaper reports the “One Common Grant” initiative is the modernised version of the grant subsidy assistance paid out every year by Government.

Samoa Govt expects small deficit in latest Budget

The approval followed seven days of budget debate.

The ministries receiving the highest allocation are the Ministry of Health with 42 million US dollars and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture with just over 40-million.

The Minister of Finance Sili Epa Tuioti told the Samoa Observer investment in human capital is a must.

Sili said the government is looking at a funding scheme to help students who can’t afford tuition fees at the National University of Samoa.

Samoan backbencher alleges Budget is unbalanced

The Samoa Observer reports the MP, Faumuina Wayne Fong, also alluded to a waste of public money during the Budget debate this week.

And he said there were members of the party the Prime Minister does not want to listen to.

The Prime Minster Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi told the House the member is not prevented from expressing his views.

But he warned that cabinet members are not fools and are listening to what is being said.

Tuila'epa went on to say there were MPs who used the party's banner to get voted into Parliament that could not be trusted.

Australia's aid budget cuts are a win for the Pacific

The government delivered its annual budget on Tuesday, announcing that the country's foreign aid budget had been cut again.

The Australian National University's Stephen Howes said programmes in places like Pakistan, Nepal, Cambodia and Indonesia have been slashed by as much as half.

But he said the Pacific has been spared.

"The government's caught between these two conflicting objectives. On the one hand, it doesn't want to increase overall aid," he said.

Samoa promised a Budget to build resilience

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.