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No VAGST increase as Samoa Finance Minister tables $934.2million Budget

Samoa Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, has tabled his second Budget for 2017/2018.

With estimated revenues of $852.3million (US$333 million) and total expenditures estimated at $934.2m (US$365 million), a deficit $89.9m (US$35.2 million) is forecasted.

This will be financed by soft term financing of $90.3million (US$35.4 million) and Credit Budget Support of $12.9million (US$5 million).

“This Budget is about making the right choices to secure a better tomorrow,” Minister Sili Epa told Parliament.

“These choices must be based on the principles of equity and fairness.

“We must choose to focus on growing our economy to provide more jobs and build a solid foundation for a better quality of life for everyone.

“We must choose to contribute to financing our development in a fair and equitable way. We must choose to guarantee the essential services that all Samoans demand.

“These are the principles that shape the Equity and Fairness theme of this budget. Every eligible person should contribute to the development of our country. At the same time the fruits of our development must be shared across to benefit everyone.”

As for the much-feared Value Added Goods and Services Tax (VAGST) increase, Sili has moved to assuage them.

“Government is pleased to announce that there will be no increase in the rate of VAGST in this budget.

“But Government is continuing to review ways, including introducing changes to legislation to ensure full VAGST compliance by businesses at customs point of entry and at points of sale,” he said.
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