AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNMENT TO NO LONGER PAY EMPLOYEES' LOANS AND UTILITY BILLS

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (February 5, 1999 - PACNEWS/Samoa Post)---American Samoa's government will no longer pay loans and utility bills for its employees, Governor Tauese Sunia has announced.

He told the Samoa Post that all government workers whose financial obligations are being handled by the government should be forewarned that once their current loans have been paid in full, the government will no longer make payroll deductions for new ones.

The only deductions that the government will continue to handle are for Social Security, federal tax payments and local income taxes.

The Samoa Post quoted Governor Tauese as saying that while the government has been providing this free service for its workers, the exercise generates more work and costs for the government and many complaints when the deductions are not paid on time.

The Governor said the government has accommodated the needs of public servants in return for nothing but ridiculous complaints. If this is the thank you the government gets, he said, then let the employees take charge of their own financial obligations.

In the past, some workers whose utility bills were paid by payroll deduction, have had their phone and power lines disconnected when the government was late in paying the monies it had deducted from the workers' paychecks.

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