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Government Bonds, Tonga's new revenue source

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Editor,

Your House report on “Tonga’s biggest national budget…(June 11, 2014)” seems rich on statistics well presented. But are we sure that the House is not feeding the public the old adage: “statistics, damn statistics, lies and more lies?” 

For example, the $26M to be collected from the sales of “Government Bonds” I suppose is a novel idea for Tonga. Is Government making an announcement here of an important creation of this new revenue inflow source?

Transparency, Good Governance

For transparency sakes, bond sales should first be explained to the folks in detail. We wouldn’t want another “Passport Sales” fiasco, do we? Although I support sales of all kinds of marketable products to grow the economy, I urge government to brush up on its accountability issue with a public relations blitz. 

Secondly, aren’t Government Bonds another form of loans, borrowing money from bond purchasers? Upon maturity of those bonds, doesn’t Government have to pay back the face value with the guaranteed interest? 

Who is buying bonds?

The folks should be asking: A government sinking in debts, and its national budget begging Big Brother and Big Sister “donors” to fund 59% of the 2014-2015 fiscal year, why is it going into more debts selling Government Bonds?

DId Parliamentarians ask who is buying the bonds? Would Tonga want a single buyer, like a single country, to suck up all Tongan Government Bonds? Did the People’s Representatives ask questions of the Minister of Finance, Dr. ‘Aisake Eke. What are the details of the bonds sales? 

People’s Reps responsibilities

If PRs did not ask these questions, they are not representing the people well. With Tonga’s reputation as a debtor country, unscrupulous and devious countries may want to cash in by buying up Tongan Government Bonds. 

A big mistake here can threaten the country’s sovereignty. And mounting huge debts for our children and grandchildren?  How many years are these Government Bonds maturing, for example?

Sione Ake-mei-hakau Mokofisi - MBA