Prime Minister slams Financial Intelligence Unit for freezing 2017 Pacific Games bank account, confirms full Govt support for VAN2017

Logo of the 2017 Vanuatu Pacific Games

A new statutory body has been created to enable VAN2017 to resume its management of the 2017 Vanuatu Pacific Games, due to take place this time next year. VAN2017 was set up as a charitable organisation, but the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) froze their bank account, seemingly arbitrarily, following a series of Council of Ministers decisions which appear to aimed at wresting control away from the organising committee and back to the Government.

Daily Post reports today that Prime Minister Charlot Salwai has strongly criticised the FIU’s actions, writing in a letter to the FIU Manager that “there is no clear evidence that VAN2017 has been engaged in any fraudulent actions or that state funds have been misused in any way… I am deeply concerned that Read the rest of this entry »


Personnel from visiting United States Navy ship USNS Pililaau help repair kindergarten

Marines from the United States Navy's logistic vessel USNS Pililaau receive salu salu from the children of the Anglican community station at Tagabe today. Photo: @koamoana16

Marines from the United States Navy’s logistic vessel USNS Pililaau receive salu salu from the children of the Anglican community station at Tagabe today. Photo: @koamoana16

United States Marines from the huge visiting naval logistics vessel USNS Pililaau as undertaking repairs on a kindergarten within the Anglican community station at Tagabe, Port Vila. There were salu salu for each of the US service personnel and a welcome program of song and dance.

Tourism Owners Association (TOA) support the VCCI’s suggestion of a moderate increase in VAT rather than Read the rest of this entry »

Port Vila’s mayor wants income and corporate taxes to pay for service delivery

Port Vila's Mayor, Ulrich Sumptoh. File photo/IISD

Port Vila’s Mayor, Ulrich Sumptoh. File photo/IISD

Port Vila Mayor Sumptoh supports a taxation reaching everyone to pay for the services people receive from government as they are expected to pay for their municipal services. He is quoted by all media. He is certain the capital’s townspeople will contribute Read the rest of this entry »

Kastom in contempt of court, or is court in contempt of kastom?

red mat blong Pentecost

Daily Post knew it was on to a controversial issue. Today they say Justice Chetwynd’s decision has become the talk of the week as many comments by members of the public supported the defendants’ right to dress in their kastom attire in court. Yesterday we reported Daily Post saying Chief Viraleo Boborenvanua was removed from court in Port Vila under the orders of Justice Chetwynd for appearing in court in kastom dress to lodge a plea. This is in relation to his arrest and that of others on Pentecost ten months ago. The group were to reappear, and they did so yesterday in their red Pentecost mats. And this time Justice Chetwynd insisted they have to find someone to represent them. Their plea hearings are now scheduled for Tuesday. Social media and national and commercial radio stations have all Read the rest of this entry »

A household survey essential before taxation changes, says ILO

tax Vanuatu

There is one item in today’s news which the Vanuatu Daily Digest feels should be compelling reading for everyone, certainly the dozens of townspeople the editor meets on buses from day to day. All are bewildered by the range of ideas politicians, government officers and experts are expressing on the topic of taxation for wage earners and companies. The item referred to is a front page article in Daily Post in which Jonas Cullwick carefully details the recommendations of a wages specialist of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the income tax proposal. What’s more, the ILO specialist is here for the rarely-reported Tripartite Labor Advisory Council, TLAC, which represents Vanuatu’s government, employers and workers in the country. TLAC held a public lecture and meeting at the Grand Hotel. The ILO expert, Daniel Kostzer, says Vanuatu needs a more evidence-based approach to the issue of taxation and a household survey is necessary. Yes, indeed. And the ILO must Read the rest of this entry »

Filariasis completely eliminated from Vanuatu; womens’ achievements celebrated on International Day for Rural Women

No longer in Vanuatu: Filariasis. Image: CDC/Alexander J. da Silva, PhD/Melanie Moser/CDC Public Health Image Library

No longer in Vanuatu: Filariasis. Image: Alexander J. da Silva, PhD/Melanie Moser/CDC Public Health Image Library

The news is just out today. Vanuatu has eliminated filariasis. The World Health Organisation (WHO) DG for the Western Pacific made the announcement in the Philippines with Health Minister Toara Daniel present at a reception honouring the achievement. Cambodia and the Cook Islands have also eliminated the disease, also known as elephantiasis, or in Bislama as big leg. A campaign to eradicate the disease has needed regular drug applications, a singular success in a small country with so many islands. (Daily Post)

The International Day for Rural Women was launched at Erakor village this week by Read the rest of this entry »

Rare hailstorm lashes Shepherds Islands; Chamber of Commerce to review Govt taxation proposals in detail

Hail stones damaged trees, crops and homes on Emae on Monday

Hail stones damaged trees, crops and homes on Emae and other islands on Monday

Yesterday’s hailstorm over Mataso, Makira and Emae made headlines today. Fest Napuan starting this evening only rated a front page single column, but then we have to acknowledge hail is hardly ever seen in our tropical paradise and snow, of course, just doesn’t ever get here. (Daily Post)

Radio Vanuatu News announced this morning the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry VCCI has chosen a six-member team to review the revenue tax proposals presented to the public as drafts from the Government. The VCCI team is considering all the possibilities, analysing the detail and preparing an answer for Government. The next public consultation of the government Revenue Review Committee is to be next week, on Thursday 20 October at the National Convention Centre, starting at 9:30am. It seems that the VCCI is going Read the rest of this entry »