Samoa has a budget after midnight resolution reached

Tuilaepa stood up and crossed the floor to greet his successor Fiame with a hug. Photo: Parliament of Samoa

Five months after the General Election in April, Samoa has a financial budget to operate with.

The Samoa Parliament passed the national budget totalling 983 million tālā after midnight local time on Thursday.

This means the private sector will finally be paid for their services after waiting while the government operated on emergency provisions of 25 percent of the 2020/2021 budget from July 1 this year.

Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, rose to thank the members for the lengthy sessions and for ensuring the FAST government’s first budget was approved.

The budget includes a deficit of $106.2 million tālā.

The opposition HRPP joined the budget debate last Friday after a court order forced the Speaker to lift his ban on them and were allowed to be sworn in.

The expected heated budget debates did not eventuate as former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi led a reconciliatory stance following an often ugly post election verbal jockeying for power.

This saw unprecedented court actions by both sides ending with the Court of Appeal decision which installed the FAST government and the first female Prime Minister.

Samoa has seven by-elections coming up, on a date to be determined.

Tuilaepa and some of his HRPP members and supporters are also bracing to fight contempt of court charges brought against them by FAST.

Parliament will resume on Tuesday to pass proposed amendments to the Electoral Act, before the by-elections are held.

Resource: RNZ