Tonga Parliament passes deficit Budget for 2023-2024

Tonga’s parliament passed the national Annual Budget for FY2023-2024 of $784.2 million pa’anga (US$332 million) Wednesday with 14-0 votes.

The biggest budget allocation in the Budget Estimates 2023-2024 is for the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning (18 percent), followed by the Ministry of Education and Training with 17 percent and a nine percent allocation for both the Ministry of Health and MEIDECC.

This second budget of the current government focuses on economic recovery, greater resilience and sustainability.

However, the Minister of Finance, Tiofilusi Tiueti said that after comparing the revenue collection and government expenditure for 2023-24, “there is a budget deficit of $27.2 million (US$11.2 million).”

The total budget funded by donor partners for 2024 is about $364.7 million (US$154.8 million). Of that amount, $96.3 million (US$40.8 million) is cash (26.4 percent) while $268.4 million (US$113 million) is donor in kind.

Tonga’s 2023-2024 National Budget for the coming financial year includes the government’s loan repayment of $67.1 million (US$28.4 million) for 2023-2024, an increase of $23.5 million (US$9.9 million) from the $43.6 million (US$18.5 million) allocated in the current financial year. The increase is largely for loan repayments to China for the reconstruction of Nuku’alofa.