TAX REVENUES UP 60 PERCENT IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, Jan. 23, 2008) – The Ministry of Finance has reported a significant improvement in the tax revenue the government collected.

A statement from the Inland Revenue Division of the Ministry says tax collections for 2007 was SB$590 million [US$84.6 million].

The statement says this was 60 percent more than the revenue collected in 2005.

The tax revenue include significant improvements in collection of company, goods and sales taxes.

The Inland Revenue Division says while the increase is attributed to an improving economy, the size of the revenue gains show the improvement in the way the division has worked.

The Ministry of Finance says out-going Acting Tax Commissioner Michael Heweston of New Zealand who had been in the country since late 2005, had played an important role in helping the division improves its work.

The Ministry says the past two years have been a time of unprecedented change for the Inland Revenue Division.

It says with Mr Heweston's help and involvement, the division has developed its Strategic Business Plan which provides a blueprint for business improvement and modernisation.

The Ministry of Finance says the four year plan which is now in its second year has already delivered a more efficient and effective tax administration.

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