Vanuatu Internal Affairs Exceeds Anticipated Revenues

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Combined total revenues for 2013 almost double expectation

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Nov. 19, 2013) – Minister of Internal Affairs Patrick Crowby says the revenue raised by the departments under his ministry so far has exceeded the amount estimated under the Vanuatu government’s 2013 Budget approved by parliament early this year.

Crowby said that as of Thursday last week, the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ combined total revenue raised was Vt1.091 billion [US$11.4 million].

He made the revelation during a visit to the Department of Labor last Friday afternoon while congratulating the staff of the department for their part in the success of the seasonal workers scheme with New Zealand so far and its contribution to the country’s economy and government’s revenue.

The ministry had pledged to raise Vt658 million [US$6.9 million] in its revenue estimates under the government’s 2013 budget.

Pointing out he was pleased with this outcome to date, Minister Crowby acknowledged the contribution of the staff of those departments under his ministry including Labor and Immigration and the PR program with Hong Kong for this success.

He made the comments after receiving the report from the Commissioner of Labor, Lionel Kaluat, on findings from an inquiry into complaints from some labor mobility licensees that the Department of Labor was breaking its own rules by also sending employees for seasonal work. They claimed that by allegedly involving itself in sending workers, the department was undermining the effectiveness of the licensees.

Presenting the report, Commissioner Kaluat emphasized the crucial role the labor mobility schemes were contributing to the Vanuatu economy and said to date total earnings from the New Zealand Recognized Seasonal Employment Scheme (RSE) stands at Vt4 billion [US$42 million] since the RSE started in 2007.

He said Vanuatu currently sends over 3,000 workers to New Zealand under the scheme and he emphasized the department through its Employment Services Unit would continue to service this sector.

Crowby thanked the Commissioner and said he would pass the report on to the Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses.

He then called on the staff of the department to continue to work collaboratively with other stakeholders for the success of the scheme and that with Australia for Vanuatu workers and the country to continue.

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