The Government put the final touches on the 2014/15 Budget which will see a small underlying budget surplus in 2014/15. The Budget will be tabled when Parliament resumes in late October. Finance Minister Mark Brown was happy to report that Cabinet had presented to MFEM a fiscally responsible budget, which would remain in an underlying balance position in 2014/15.
"We have now handed the budget back to MFEM who are now working on finalising the budget documentation with an aim for an end of October session of Parliament".
“The resumption of Parliament will demonstrate that the CIP Government is moving on with the business of governing and delivering to the people of the Cook Islands, rather than talking about why it would be nice to be in power. Over the next few days we will demonstrate what it means to be in Government. The CIP Government prefers to be talking about what we are delivering to people in terms of health, education and investing in infrastructure. We will let the opposition talk about themselves and what sort of coalition they might dream up.”
Minister Brown pointed out that he and other members of Cabinet and Caucus would be updating the community over the next few days on new initiatives in the lead-up to the presentation of his fifth budget to the Cook Islands Parliament.
“When Parliament sat after the elections, the CIP demonstrated clearly that it was a united force behind the Prime Minister. Now, the united CIP team through the 2014/15 year will show to the people the returns that a united, stable and responsible government can deliver to the community.”
The 2014/15 Budget will see funding increases in key community service areas such as health and education. The recent focus on infrastructure will continue and further funding will be made available for marketing in Tourism, and an increase in the local pension for those aged seventy will apply from 1 January 2014.
“We are a hard working government who has been focussed on delivering to our people. I say, watch our walk and come along with us, don’t listen to the talk and speculation of others”