Gov’t refutes king’s “no economic vision” speech; Finance Minister details economic plans

‘Oku ‘i ai pe vīsone faka’ekonōmika mahino ‘a e pule’anga’ neongo e tō folofola ‘a e tu’i’ ‘o pehē kuo ‘ikai hā mai ha vīsone ke langa hake e ‘ekonōmika ‘a e fonua’. Na’e fakahā ‘e he Minisitā Pa’anga' ‘i Fale Alea ko e vīsone ko ‘eni ‘oku ‘i he malumalu ia’ o e kaveinga kuo fakalea ‘o peheni: “ Ke pātoloaki ‘a e fakalakalaka ‘i Tonga ki he ma’uma’uluta mo tupulekina ‘a e tu’unga mo’ui ‘a e kakai kotoa pē. ‘o e fonua, ki ha tu’unga ‘oku lelei ange.” Na’e hoko atu ‘a e Minisitaa’ ‘o ne pehē kuo fokotu’u ‘e he pule’anga’ ha ngaahi kaveinga iiki ‘e hiva ‘i he malumalu 'o e vīsone ko ‘eni’ ke fakama’unga ki ai hono ngāue'i ‘e he pule’anga’ a e vīsone' ‘i he ta’u ‘e tolu ka hoko mai' kau ai ‘a e ta’u fakapa’anga fo’ou ‘i Siulai’ mo e ta’u ‘e ua ‘oku toe mai ke kei pule’anga ‘a e pule’anga lolotonga’. Ko e hiva ko ‘eni ‘oku kau ai ‘a e ua ne lava ‘ohake ‘aneafi ‘i he taimi ne ‘oange ma’a e minisitaa’ i Fale Alea ‘a ia ko hono fakalelei’i ‘o e ngaahi sēvesi ‘a e pule’anga’ mo hono fakalelei’i ‘o e sekitoa ki he kakai masiva ‘a ia ‘oku pehē ko e pēseti ia ‘e 80 pe laka hake ‘o e fonua’ ‘oku nau tofanga ai’. Oku tui ‘a e pule’anga’ kuopau ke teke ‘a e kakai ko ‘eni ke fefakatau’aki mo e ngāue malohi ko ha faingamālie ‘eni ‘e tupulaki ai ‘a e ‘ekonōmika’. I he patiseti 2018/19 'a e pule'anga' ne 'asi mahino ai 'a e taumu'a 'a e pule'anga ke teke tupu, poupou’i hono ngāue’aki ‘a e ngaahi sekitoa kehekehe ki he tupu faka’ekonōmika’, fakatupu ha ngaahi faingamālie ma’u ngāue ‘a ia ko e 'uuni me'a 'eni ‘oku fiema’u ki hano fakalakalaka e tu’unga ‘o e nofo ‘a e Tonga’.

The government has a clear economic vision for the country, despite the king saying there did not appear to be one, Parliament was told yesterday.

The Minister of Finance, Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, told Parliament the government’s economic vision was put under the second part of the Tonga Strategic Development Framework, which runs from 2015 – 2025.

It was a national vision titled: “A more progressive Tonga supporting higher quality of life for all”, Hon. Tu’i’onetoa said.

The Minister made his comments in the House after King Tupou VI said during a speech to open Parliament on May 30 that the economy seemed to suffer from a lack of vision.

The Minister told the House the government had created nine goals under the national vision as launch pads for implementing its economic activities for the next three years including the new financial year which will begin in July, and the remaining two years of the government’s term of office.

The Minister was only able to talk about two of the nine goals in Parliament before his time was up. The Speaker told him he could continue on the following day.

The first goal was an improvement of the government’s public services made under public sector reform.  The government wanted to understand the outcomes it gained from its spending and products made.

He said the government sectors were expected to follow these reforms according to laws and guidelines to encourage better public services and good governance.

These could only work in a  good governmental and political structure and the six new bills the government recently submitted to the House were part of the government’s vision to make its public sector reform a success, Hon. Tu’i’onetoa said .

The appointment of the Attorney General which came into effect  in June 2019 was part of this reform.

The Minister said the government wanted  to deliver better education and health support to the smaller outer islands through the internet. He said the internet fibre cable did not reach these islands and work was underway to install a government sponsored satellite company to cater for the plan.

The government was  also working to  develop the informal sector.

Hon Tu’i’onetoa said it was important to look after poor  people and urge them to trade and move into the formal sector.

The Minister said that doing so could create more economic activities which could boost the economy as a whole. 

“It is estimated 80 per cent or over of the country are in this category,” the Minister told Parliament.

“This was a vision of the Prime Minister and the government to develop this sector so that people could work hard and trade.”

Hon Tu’i’onetoa said it had been proved worldwide that  this policy could help these people to have a better life. 

The foreword to the government’s budget for 2018/19 said:

“The strategic thrust for the 2018/19 budget is to promote growth, enhance economic diversification, and create job opportunities, which are necessary to improve the standard of living of Tongans.”

The Minster said some of these reforms and vision to develop the country’s economy could take years before they showed  outcomes.

1 COMMENT

  1. We can see clearly from overseas, the simple fact which His Majesty pointed out. The so called economic development plans over the last 30 years (at least) have never been achieved and according to the Government’s reports have always been “disrupted by cyclones”. Tonga should take note of the Minister’s report of the “plan” and see whether after the 3 year timeframe if individuals are better off. His Majesty, with all due respect, is right. The Government does not have a plan to get Tonga out of poverty. The “plans” that have been around over many years have been very high level and so cannot be linked to useful, practical, clear key performance indicators. For example, how many square meters of land being farmed for which produce, in which villages, and how many kilos, and how much exported over time.

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