I was a little confused after reading your article: Tonga's new foreign exchange levy starts 1 June to pay for Pacific Games. In the article it said that this “tax” was needed to help fund the 2019 Pacific Games? How was Tonga going to finance this event when they went and bid to have Tonga host these games? Am I to believe that now in 2016, June 1 we will now collect/add a new tax to help fund these games?
Did anyone in the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Sports (or whichever ministry is responsible for this sector) sit down and come up with a needed budget to host these games? Anyone have a forecast on what is needed to be built? Venues? Lodging? Transportation? Logistics? How we were going to achieve and implement a Plan to successfully execute the hosting of these games? Am I to believe that we have enough time (the clock is ticking to 2019 it is only 3 years out and I still have no idea what venue we will hold all the swimming and diving competitions in. Does Tonga have any appropriate area other than Mata ki 'Eua and Sia that is Deep enough for a 10m diving platform (min 4.5m in depth) to turn around the new tax on remittance to pay for all of this. Is there a plan B? Plan C?
What happens if remittances decline because of this new tax? Countries like the Philippines have scrapped their tax on remittances because a) it caused folks to use other channels (legal and illegal) to move money, and b) it didn't work! Where then does the money come from to pay for these games? Is the government going to impose a new “international texting tax”?
Anyone who watched the handing over of the Pacific Games from Papua New Guinea to Tonga in Port Moresby would have seen how unprepared Tonga looked from their acceptance speech to their dismal video package and lack lustre cultural performance that was about as exciting as it is to stand inline at the Bank on any given Monday. If the PM is relying on his request to PNG to help “us” (Tonga) in building and getting ready for the 2019 Games as seen in this video http://bit.ly/1U0NsEj on youtube, well I can tell you he needs more than a bit of his pandering to their PM as the “most powerful nation in the South Pacific”.
Looking forward to reading the PM's “plan” for the games since he obviously has one starting with the sacking of Dr. Feleti Sevele from the position of leading the charge for the upcoming games …. wait, wasn't that null and voided by the Pacific Games Council stating the PMO's doesn't have the authority to vacate that position?
Keep up the great work and thank you for your time.