Minister of Finance First Supplementary Budget Address Dec 2021

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Photo: Parliament of Samoa.

GOVERNMENT OF SAMOA

FIRST SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET ADDRESS 2021/22

HON. MULIPOLA ANAROSA ALE MOLIOO

Minister of Finance

14 December 2021

FIRST SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET ADDRESS 2021/2022

[The following section portraying traditional Samoan salutations have been purposefully left untranslated]

Lau Afioga i le Fofoga Fetalai ma Sui mamalu o le Palemene,

Avea ia lenei avanoa ou te fa’afeiloai atu ma fa’atalofa atu ai i lau Afioga i le Fofoga Fetalai o le Fono Aoao Faitulafono o Samoa. 

Ou te fa’atalofa atu foi i le Afioga i le Tamaitai Palemia o Samoa, le Afioga i le Sui Palemia ma le mamalu o Minisita o le Kapeneta ma Minisita Lagolago.

Faafeiloai atu ma fa’atalofa atu i le Taitai o le Itu Agai, o le Sui Taitai ma la outou Vaega Faaupufai faapea Sui usufono uma o le Palemene o Samoa.

Le tapuaiga mamalu o le Afioga i le Ao Mamalu o le Malo ma lau Masiofo aemaise o le Afioga i le Sui o le Fono a Sui Tofia.

Le tapuaiga o le Afioga o le Faamasino Sili ma le mamalu o le Faamasinoga.

Ou te fa’apa’i atu foi ile faafofoga tapuai mai o si o tatou atunuu Samoa aoao i ou mamalu faaletalalelei, mamalu faaleatunuu ma ou mamalu faalemalo. Tulouna ia.

E le faagaloina foi tapuaiga a o tatou aiga i le Motu i Sasae aua Tutuila ma Manua. 

Tainane le tapuai mamao mai i le paia ma le mamalu o Samoa o loo alala ma papa aao i atunuu e mamao. Poo fea lava le tafa o le lalolagi o loo e tapuai mai ai ma tautua si o tatou atunuu ma le Malo.

Ofo alofa ma ou faatalofa atu.

Ia mālie i lo’u gutu upu o lau Tulafono. Aua e tupu olaola le tagata amiotonu. Pe ou te savali foi i le mailei a lē faimanu, ou te malu lava i le paolo o lou ofutele.

Ua tõ-ao le fale o le tautai i Vasa 

Ua lalama le valaau ole a fa’aa’e

Ae mata’i e le taliuta ataata o galu fati ma galu pu’e 

Ae se’i tõfaõ le fa’atamasoaliiga i aao ole tauola

Ua agai ina tafamū tafailagi o Si’uolefanua 

O le a faaifo i mauga le galuega a le Alii seu 

Ua faalava foi le Too ole Tula

Ae tali mālie le tapuaiga a fuesina

O loo tatou fa’atalitali atu i le aso na valoia e le Evagelia o Ioane 1:1

Sa i le Atua le upu. O le Atua foi le upu.

Ma o loo tatou faatali ai i le aso e liutino ai le upu. O ia o le Tupu, O le Alii, O le Fa’aao o Malo uma, O le Faipule, O le Atua malosi ma le Alii ole Filemu. 

Lau Afioga i le Fofoga Fetalai,

O le mau tuufaasolo a Samoa pe a tapena le faasoaina o lona tamaoaiga anamua.

E tapena uma le uluai seleselega o mea lelei ua ia maua i ona lima.

Pe mai le vao. Pe mai le sami. Po o manu felelei foi o le lagi.

Ona faapea lea o le tala a le Matai i lona ‘au aiga.

Ia auau uma mai maa ma mea ua maua.

O le mea sili ua tatou faasoa feiloai

Faasoa fesilafa’i ma faasoa fealolofaa’i

Pe lava. Pe le au. O lea ua tatou matitiva fesaga’i

O a mea ua maua.

Viia le Atua i lana foai mo Samoa i lenei taimi.

Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members of Parliament,

It is with due respect that I stand before you all today to table for the consideration of the House, the First Supplementary Budget for the current fiscal year 2021/2022.

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Mr. Speaker,

We have now reached the halfway mark for the current financial year.  It is also the first financial year for the new Government under the leadership of the FAST Party.  We have borne witness to a truly trialing year which includes: (i) The continued spread and evolution of the COVID19 as witnessed across the globe over the course of the past 21 months since our borders have been closed which has devastated our Tourism industry – one of our country’s biggest income earners.  (ii) Further, this year has also seen a new Government take the helm for Samoa following the conclusion of the April General Elections.  The year has been filled with many challenges for our country however we are blessed that our journey remains under the protection and guidance of our Heavenly Father and Samoa continues to remain protected from the COVID19 Pandemic.  In addition, the Government journeys steadily down the path it laid out in the Main Estimates 2021/2022 as enacted in September 2021.

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Mr. Speaker,

In September, the Main Estimates for the current year 2021/2022 was laid before Parliament and I am pleased to announce that the implementation of all programs and policies as laid out therein are progressing well.  I am also pleased to advise that within the four (4) months since the Main Estimates were passed, the Government has been able to put in place implementation frameworks and policies to facilitate the roll out of some of these key policies particularly those that targeting sectors most affected by the economic decline due to the COVID19 and restrictions.  The Government has remained active and vigilant since it has taken the helm and it is with due praise to the Most High that Samoa remains blessed to this day.

Mr. Speaker,

The First Supplementary budget laid before you, has been rigorously reviewed and reshuffled to allow existing expenditures of Government to be diverted to key priority developments.

Mr. Speaker,

I am pleased to advise that despite the additional expenditures to be outlined, the revisions made under this First Supplementary Budget is anticipated to improve the fiscal deficit from 2.5% to 2.4% of GDP.

This overall effect, illustrates the Government’s commitment to continuously review and reshuffle its expenditures to reduce or increase where necessary based on what critical developments arises around areas that the Government has prioritized.

Season’s Greetings from Management and Staff of Ah Liki Wholesale.

First Supplementary Budget Estimates:

Mr. Speaker,

I would now like to present the details of the First Supplementary Estimates for the fiscal year 2021/2022.

The aggregated total for additional expenditures under this First Supplementary budget amounts to $21,854,071 and will be financed through $19,472,807 in additional Grants as well as $4,671,359 in reshuffled existing expenditure item.

Ministries with reshuffled expenditure provisions include:

  • Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries – ($320,000)

This amount reflects savings identified from the provision for the Annual Agriculture Show which has been revised to support the individual village Talomua Programs for the current fiscal year.

  • Ministry of Finance – ($4,200,000)

The majority of these savings have been identified from counterpart costs of the Government to development programs that depend on agreed implementation plans and are usually appropriated for under the Ministry of Finance:

  • OPEC/Petroleum Tank Farm ($200,000)

The Government’s counterpart to the project has been reduced for the current fiscal year until discussions for the continuation of the project has been completed;

  • Connectivity Project ($550,000)

The Government’s counterpart has been reduced based on discussions with development partners as well as revised implementation plans;

  • Aid and Loan Funded Projects – Import Duty  ($1,500,000)

Aid and Loan Funded Projects – VAGST ($1,600,000)

The provisions for these expenditure items depend on planned activities and developments for the fiscal year.  As projects are re-negotiated, anticipated spending on import duty and VAGST are also reviewed;

  • ADB Central Cross Island Road Upgrade Project ($350,000)

The implementation plan for this project has been revised to reflect only the works that can be actioned within the current fiscal year and has thus affected the local counterpart provisions;

  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment – ($71,359)

The overhead provisions for the individual divisions of the Ministry have been reduced and diverted to the Minister’s Output to reflect the level of expenditures required to service the Offices of the Honourable Minister.

  • Office of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly – ($80,000)

Savings have been identified from below the line programmes of the Office of the Legislative Assembly and has been diverted to source other priority activities for the fiscal year.

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Mr. Speaker, I will now provide details for the additional expenditures of $21,854,071 inclusive of taxes and development projects.  These are:

  • Statutory Expenditures                        $1,601,587

The additional provision is to topup the appropriation for salaries under the Civil List to cover spending that has been expended to cover salaries of Members of Parliament which were backpaid to April and May of the last fiscal year;’

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries                 $320,000

The additional financing is to source priority developments of the Ministry which include:

  • $120,000 Agriculture Development Project

The additional provision will be used to construct a feedmill as well as to renovate the residence for staff and a storehouse.  Any remaining funds will be used to install a transformer to service all three facilities;

  • $200,000 Refurbishment of the Savaii Packhouse

It is the intention of the Ministry to renovate and refurbish the Salelologa packhouse for the use of Savaii farmers to facilitate exports;

  • Ministry for Commerce, Industry & Labour            SAT$20,000

The Government will be reviewing this assistance further for specific labor associations however for the time being the assistance will be directed at the Samoa Workers’ Congress, Samoa Nurses Assocation, Samoa Seafarers and Maritime Association as well as the Public Service Association.

  • Ministry of Finance                            SAT$4,339,713
  • $7,918 Staff Salary Adjustments

As per PSC approval, there have been salary adjustments made to some of the staff to better reflect the roles and responsibilities that they undertake as well the work they are currently implementing;

  • $830,402 Otahuhu Lease

The provisions is to recover finances of the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) for the purchase of the land and facilities at Otahuhu which currently serve as a marketplace for agricultural exports from Samoa.  The arrangement is a lease with the ACC and is paid monthly.  The provision includes months of the previous year as per terms and conditions for a grace period until the current fiscal year;

  • $150,000 Civil Society Support Programme

$3,149,239 Samoa Ports Development Project

$150,000 ADB System Strengthening for Effective Coverage of New Vaccine

These additional provisions are to cover new counterparts of Government to the stated development projects and programs;

  • $52,154 Maintenance Fees for Commonwealth Secretariat Debt Management

The fee is for a program to support the Ministry’s efforts to effectively monitor and manage the Government’s debt.

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade                      $516,129
  • $320,000 for VIP Vehicles

These vehicles were originally meant to be appropriated for under the Second Supplementary for the past fiscal year 2020/2021 however due to the delays in the announcement of the new Parliament the Second Supplementary was cancelled and focus was directed at the new Main Estimates 2021/2022.  These vehicles are to be housed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will be used to host and transport visiting Heads of States and dignitaries.

  • $13,879 Legal Clerk

The additional expenditure is for the salary of the stated personnel to cover only the remaining months of the current fiscal year;

  • $182,250 First Secretary Canberra

The nominated officer is expected to take up this new post soon and the provision are to cover personnel costs associated with their relocation to the Mission Office in Canberra, Australia;

  • Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment    $493,719

The additional provision is to re-establish the Minister’s Output which was previously serviced under the budget of the Honorable Prime Minister which includes provision for personnel, operations and capital items required for the operations of the Minister’s Office;

  • Ministry of Police & Prisons                          $480,410

The expenditure item pertains to the construction of a perimeter fence for the lands in Salelologa which have been earmarked for the new police headquarters

  • Ministry for Works, Transport & Infrastructure            $4,100,000
  • $100,000 Transactions on Behalf of State:  Street Addressing

The implementation of this project continues under the Ministry and the additional expenditures includes personnel as well as equipment to assist in the roll out of street naming and numbering;

  • $2,000,000 Third Party for Community Service Obligation (CSO): Samoa Water Authority 

The provisions is to top up the current fiscal year provision to assist the Authority in the implementation of capital works for communities who require this essential service but cannot be covered by the Authority;

  • $2,000,000 Third Party for CSO: Electric Power Corporation   

This provision is also to top up the CSO for the Electric Power Corporation to assist in their capital works to raise coverage for communities that require Government assistance.

  • Office of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly            $80,000

These additional request are financed entirely from the re-distribution of savings from within the Office’s original estimates under Transactions on Behalf of the State specific to Parliamentary Programmes (Education Engagement).

  • $35,000 Operating Expenditures: Servicing the Office of the Clerk

The topup in the appropriation is to cover activities related to the needs of parliament for the remainder of the financial year.  These provisions depend on the duration of meetings as well as the requirements for each deliberation and therefore fluctuates from year to year;

  • $45,000 Operating Expenditures: Servicing the Chamber and Procedure Office

The provision is to topup resources that were diverted to finance a portion of the cost associated with purchasing the vehicle of the Leader of the Opposition;

Additional Grant financed Development Projects of $9,902,513 include:

  • Community Development & NGO Sector:
    • Ending Violence Village Programs – $50,770;
  • Agriculture Sector:
    • Safeguarding threatened coconut diversity within the upgraded International Coconut Genebank for the South Pacific  – $26,099
    • Safeguarding and Deploying Coconut Diversity to improve livelihoods in the Pacific – $46,523  
    • Building Case for Investments in Coconut Industry – SAT$18,438
  • Commerce and Trade Sector:
    • Assistance for the Child Labour Survey – $101,541
  • Environment Sector
    • Fourth National Biosafety Report Support – $88,848
  • Finance Sector
    • Budget Support: General Budget Support for COVID19 Assistance – $9,570,294

Conclusions:

Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members of Parliament,

The Government, along with its close partners and frontline workers continue to commit to safeguarding the country from the COVID19.  These workers continue to be commended for their dedication particularly the management and staff of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry for Police and Prisons, the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) and all other departments closely involved in these efforts.  In that regard, I take this opportunity to reiterate to the citizens of Samoa the high significance placed on ensuring that eligible citizens obtain both (2) vaccination shots as well as adhering to the advice and notices from the NEOC and the Ministry of Health in an effort to continue to protect our country from the COVID19.

The Government remains committed to following through with the expenditure frameworks as outlined in the Main Estimates 2021/2022.  The underlying objective is to ensure harmony, protection and freedom for all citizens particularly with regards to the development of communities as well as ensuring sustainable economic development to secure prosperity for our people starting today, for tomorrow and the future.

Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members of Parliament,

On behalf of the Government of Samoa, I take the opportunity to offer warm greetings and felicitations to your esteemed self – the Speaker of the House, to all distinguished Members of Parliament, our Development Partners and especially the people of Samoa for a very Merry Christmas and a most prosperous New Year.

Soifua.

Photo: Parliament of Samoa.