Tonga PM assures country’s economic and financial status is fine

Prime Minister Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa has told a radio audience that Tonga’s economic and financial status was fine – “faingamālie pe.”

The Prime Minister, who holds a Doctorate of Christian Ministry from Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary in the United States, said the kingdom’s budget relied heavily on God.

According to Kaniva News, Mr Tu’i’onetoa made the claim in his New Year’s address, which was transmitted by Broadcom.

He said the projected budget deficit would be less than the forecast TP$60 million.

The nation’s financial status would be better, he said.

Tonga’s financial status had already been badly affected by the damage caused to the tourism industry by Cyclone Gita at the beginning of 2018. The closure of Tonga’s borders, the reduction in income from Tongans working on farms in Australia and New Zealand and the drop in exports were all expected to lead to financial hardship.

The International Monetary Fund has predicted that Pacific Island economies as a whole would suffer from what it termed “deeper wounds than even the worst natural disaster” caused by prolonged loss of revenue.


Photo file Caption: Prime Minister Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa