Vila Times

Samoa opposition claims the government is broke

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Samoa Opposition Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai, recently said the local government is broke.

Their “desperation” is reflected in a number of fees they have decided to increase in the recent past, says Olo Fiti Vaai.

He added that this fact was made quite clear when they decided to tax Pastors and the Head of State.

“The government is broke,” Olo told the Samoa Observer.

“All these increases in service fees, whatever explanation they give, it is quite obvious, they are trying to cover up the fact they are desperate.”

Olo is furious about the government’s decision to tax Church Ministers, saying this goes against the will of Samoa’s forefathers who did not do such a thing in the Constitution.

“But I guess when you are desperate,” he said.

“Why else would the government move to increase their fees, they need the money?

“They claimed that the government will collect millions and because revenues from that are not enough, the government services fees have been increased.”

As an example, Olo pointed out that the government has increased fees for business licenses. For Companies and Trust licenses, it is now $800. For Sole Traders and all other registered businesses, the new fee is $352.

The new fees become effective in January 2018.