Financial Secretary Office News

Financial Secretary Office News

Proposed Drafting Instructions for Immigration Legislation and Regulations

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS & IMMIGRATION
Wednesday, 28 November 2018

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration is in its second week of Public Consultations on the proposed drafting Instructions for a new Immigration Bill and set of regulations.

Government recognizes that Immigration is a sensitive issue for Cook Islanders and non-Cook Islands residents alike”, said Kairangi Samuela Principal Immigration officer, and it is essential that we get as much feedback in this document to ensure it meets our needs as well as being robust for future proofing.”

Public meetings have been held in the Vaka Takitumu, Aitutaki and over the next week in Vaka Puaikura at the Calvary Hall and at the Sinai Hall on Thursday 29th November 2018.

Sector as well as individual meetings have also been held with the Are Ariki and Aronga Mana, various Government Ministries including Labour, Customs, Police and private sector. Consultations on the draft have been held over the last few months to come up with this document which has been made public and available on request.

“The majority of comments, as we expected, have been raised on the issue of Permanent residents and criteria, as well as the rules governing work permits”, said Samuela, “Aitutaki residents raised the possibility of those who live on the Outer Islands as priority for awarding of PR given their small population sizes and the positive effect this could have on their small economies”.

For more information email immigration2@cookislands.gov.ck

View or download these documents:

Immigration Act Review (Proposed Regulations Consultations-October 2018

Immigration Act Review (Drafting Instructions-October 2018)

Short Presentation for Public Meetings

Summary of drafting instructions for Cook Islands Immigration Legislationand Regulations


Cook Islands Government Quarterly Financial Report – September 2018

The Cook Islands Government (CIG) preliminary financial outcome for the September 2018 quarter is now available.

September 2018 Quarter

Budget

(‘000)

Actual

(‘000)

Variance

(‘000)

Operating Revenue $43,652 $41,903 -$1,749
Operating Expenditure $44,004 $37,376 $6,628
Net Operating Balance -$352 $4,527 $4,879
       
Add Depreciation $2,453 $3,030 $577
Less Capital Expenditure $7,310 $3,114 $4,196
Fiscal Balance -$5,209 $4,443 $9,652

Operating Balance

The net operating balance of the General Government sector for the 3 months ending September 2018 resulted in a net operating surplus of $4.53 million.

Compared to the budget estimated for the quarter, this represent a saving of $4.88 million. The favourable result was driven mainly by saving in overall operating expenditure of $6.63 million. The first three months of the financial year evidenced greater control of operating expenditure due to the delayed tabling of the Appropriation Bill as a result of the 2018 general election. Offsetting this was a $1.75 million shortfall in overall revenue collection. Company Tax and Income Tax came in below budget by $1.10 million and $1.01 million respectively as a result of overdue payment plans by taxpayers. This is expected to pick up as the year progresses.

Fiscal Balance

The overall fiscal balance for the reporting period was $4.44 million, after taking into account spending on Capital expenditure of $3.11 million and adding back depreciation funding of $3.03 million.

Compared to budget, spending on Capital projects were below estimates by $4.20 million and driven mainly by delays in implementation of the Te Mato Vai Water Upgrade project.

This saving is temporary in nature and funding will be spend when capital projects are being implemented.

Official Development Assistance

Official Development Assistance (ODA) was appropriated at the total value of $61.18 million in the 2018/19 Appropriation. This value includes $7.73 million for Core Sector Support Grant Funding Arrangement with New Zealand for Education, Health and Tourism.

The first quarter reported a total spend of $4.43 million, only 7 per cent. The low spend was due to the delay in the appropriation bill being passed in parliament as well as the NZ triennium funding envelope not being confirmed due to ongoing negotiations on priorities and the design of the individual grant funding agreements.

Financial Position

Overall cash position at the end of the reporting period was $149.81 million, this includes $69.14 million of funds that are committed and set aside for specific purposes. This leaves $80.67 million of unencumbered cash reserve which government can draw upon to fund future investments.

The CIG reported a gross debt of $98.91 million, this represents actual loans disbursed and adjusted for debt service repayments. Other committed loans that have not been disbursed, like the Te Manatua Cable loan, are not included.

Net debt was reported at $56.35 million at the end of the reporting period. Net Debt adjusts the gross debt for Loan Repayment Fund (LRF) held against those loans and the loans held on behalf of SOE’s.

[END]

September 2018

View or Download via links below:

pdfSeptember_2018_Quarterly_Financial_Report.pdf398.42 KB

pdfSeptember_2018_ANNEX_1_-ODA_Progress.pdf336.75 KB

pdfSummary_Outcomes_QFR_-_September_2018_English_and_Maori.pdf859.48 KB

Cook Islands Government Quarterly Financial Report – June 2018

The Cook Islands Government (CIG) preliminary financial outcome for the June 2018 quarter is now available on the MFEM website. (www.mfem.gov.ck)

Operating Balance
The net operating balance of the General Government sector for the 12 months ending June 2018 resulted in a net operating surplus of $37.23 million, $36.74 million higher than what was forecasted during the publication of the 2017/18 Budget estimates.

The favourable result was driven mainly by higher revenue collection (by $28.08 million) followed by saving in overall operating expenditure (by $8.66 million).

Taxation collection accounted for $22.18 million of the variance in revenue and largely attributed to the additional tax collected as part of the tax amnesty programme implemented during the year in addition to the increased economic activities evidenced by increased visitor numbers.

The tax amnesty programme implemented resulted in higher taxation collection with Company tax collected at $8.86 million higher (69% up) followed by Income tax at $5.63 million (24% up) and Value Added Tax at $4.76 million (8% up).

The tax amnesty has positively impacted on numerous taxpayer’s financial position by elevating them from a net loss carried forward position (i.e. not paying income tax) to having a net profit tax position and paying income tax. This came about through the filing of outstanding income tax returns over a number of years by a given taxpayer. The result was more taxpayers actually having income tax liabilities who previously were carrying forward net losses.

Saving in Administered payments of $6.23 million followed by overall underspending of $6.01 million in Crown agencies spending were the main contributing factor to the favourable variance in operating expenditure. This was primarily related to delay in implementing planned work programs and saving in personnel related costs due to unfilled vacant positions.

Fiscal Balance
The fiscal balance adjusted the net operating balance to take into account spending on capital items net of depreciation.
The overall fiscal balance for the reporting period was $23.89 million, which demonstrates a $74.97 million saving, mainly as a result of delays in capital and infrastructure implementation.

Spending on planned Capital projects were below Budget estimates by $38.41 million driven largely by delays in implementation of Manatua Cable ($10.87 million), Te Mato Vai Rarotonga water upgrade ($8.15 million), Renewable Energy projects ($6.44 million) and Water and Sanitation project ($1,91 million).

It is worth noting that these savings are temporary in nature and funding will be spend when they are ready to be implemented. this creates fiscal space however for other important unforeseen projects that can be considered in the short term.

Financial Position
The CIG cash position is reported at $116.92 million, which represents only cash managed through the Ministry of Finance on behalf of general Government and does not include an estimated $5.14 million cash held directly by Ministries and other Crown agencies.

The CIG reported a gross debt of $101.29 million, this represents actual loans disbursed and adjusted for debt service repayments. Net Debt adjusts the Gross Debt for the effect of Loan Repayment Fund (LRF) held against those loans and the loans held on behalf of SOE’s. Net debt was reported at $58.46 million at the end of the reporting period.

The net financial position of the CIG demonstrate a healthy position at the end of the reporting period.
These results are preliminary numbers and are not yet audited.

[END]
August 2018

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