MARSHALLS MOVE TO CUT GOVERNMENT COSTS

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Cabinet allowances among proposed cuts

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 25, 2010) – The Marshall Islands Cabinet has approved sweeping fiscal reforms aimed at cutting costs and increasing revenues.

The reforms were devised by a private sector advisory group and approved by the finance minister, Jack Ading.

Cuts to cabinet members’ electricity and housing allowances, and restricting public sector loans are among the measures.

A member of the advisory group, Jack Niedenthal, who is also an executive member of the Chamber of Commerce, says he is pleased job cuts haven’t been included.

"The very last thing you want to do is reduce expenditures by cutting jobs. You want to look at other places first so anywhere they can find where it is practical to reduce cost you really have to concentrate first on those things that will hurt your own people less."

The Finance Minister Jack Ading has also indicated that he will seek Cabinet approval in the next two weeks of a recently submitted plan to overhaul the tax system.

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