Olo's budget swipe irks P.M.
Tautua Samoa Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai, yesterday embraced the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti’s budget for 2016/2017.
Speaking in Parliament during the budget debate, Olo congratulated the Minister for a well-prepared budget.
“I take my hat off to the new Minister of Finance because of this report; it shows your love for this country,” said Olo.
Back in Parliament for his third term, Olo said this is the first budget that is concise, clear and easy to understand.
But Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi objected to this.
As a former Finance Minister, Tuilaepa said all budgets are clear and easy to understand.
Referring to the outline of this year’s budget, the Prime Minister said it is the same as the past years. He added that the budget clearly dispels speculations that the government is borrowing money to repay its debts.
Looking at Olo, Tuilaepa said he thought the Member of Parliament would have understood by now.
But despite his seniority in Parliament, Tuilaepa said Olo lacked understanding about such things.
But Olo would not budge.
He insisted that this is the first budget he has really understood.
He questioned the government about companies clearing the side of the roads, saying if the it is not better off to spend the money with the villages.
He said such monies should be given to the villages and let them clean up their roads.
Olo questioned the amount of money he said are being wasted on making policies when they should be used wisely.
He pointed to the South Asia Co-Operative Environment Programme (S.A.C.E.P), saying that this is being poorly run.
“We are now at the end of this project and yet there are still a lot of funds left,” he said. “But some of the applicants have passed away a long time ago.”
Olo then asked the Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure Papali’i Niko Lee Hang that his constituency only need a few developments.
He said Sagone have stopped using the water because it tastes salty. At Fogasavai’i, the water supply is unreliable.
Olo said his village is looking at getting into the tourism industry however there is no access road to the sandy beaches.