Cost of running Govt. continues to increase

By Ivamere Nataro 23 February 2019, 12:00AM

The average annual Government budget is $890 million tala of which $645 million tala was utilised to run Government for the past three years. 

This is according to the CEO of the Ministry of Finance, Leasiosio Oscar Malielegaoi, who was responding to questions sent to him by the Sunday Samoan on the cost of operating Government.

“The $245 million tala that makes up the total government budget of $890 million tala is for development projects,” Leasiosio said. 

“This is implemented under the auspices of our development partners, plus the unforeseen vote, which accounts for 3 per cent of the total expenditure programme, which is set aside for unexpected expenditures and this is mostly left unused until the country is clear of the cyclone season each year."  

“This appropriation is usually around $15million and is left unused if it is not required.”

Leasiosio explained there is a gradual increase in the cost of operating Government every year as the economy grows, which pushes Government services to also expand. 

“Calculating the cost of running a Government is determined by many factors, including payroll costs (personnel) and operating costs,” he said. 

The total cost of $645 million tala includes:

-An average spending of $249 million tala on personnel for Government Ministries, state-owned enterprises (SOE) employees, which are funded from the budget – that is National University of Samoa, National Health Services, Samoa Tourism Authority, Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa etc., as well as administration remuneration under the statutory expenditure provision.

Total operating cost of $396 million tala covers: 

- $59 million for operating expenditures (fuel, electricity, rent, stationeries, consumables, fixed assets etc.), 

-$68 million for SOE operations, including $17 million for Land Transport Authority for road maintenance and new capital works, 

- $16 million to third parties (grants to private and mission schools, subsidies and grants to private sector, non-government organisations)

 - $142 million as transaction on behalf of the State (include supplies for the national hospital, overseas medical treatment, grants for sports development, stimulus packages and other assistance to farmers, duty and VAGST coverage for all development projects and other counterpart costs association with development projects, allocation for the new Tanumalala Prison and the Pacific Games.

- $111 million for statutory payments ($79 million for debt servicing, and the balance for duty drawbacks, VAGST refunds etc.)

By Ivamere Nataro 23 February 2019, 12:00AM

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