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Stimulus Measures

On Tuesday 7th April, 2020 Parliament passed the Second Supplementary Budget for the financial year 2019/20 which outlined the Governments’ stimulus measures to combat the COVID-19 crisis.

Growth projections globally and locally

The Government of Samoa has stated that the global economic growth projections for 2020 have been revised downward from 3.3% to 2.4% or less depending on how long the spread of the virus continues. Economic growth for Samoa in the current fiscal year was projected at 3.7% and has been revised to a negative 2.2% for the current fiscal year.  Travel bans across the world have put a stop to travelling and the tourism industry has been significantly affected by the Coronavirus, and more so on the heels of trying to recover from the recent Measles epidemic. 

Stimulus policy response objective

The Government’s assistance laid before Parliament is an initial policy response to effect change in the next 3 – 6 months and targets specific areas of the economy as highlighted below:

  • Health Response;
  • Enabling the Private Sector;
  • Securing the Purchasing Power of Citizens;
  • Food Security in the Agricultural Sector;
  • Multi-sectoral Response.

The aggregated value of this assistance is $66.30 million tala which is a considerable amount given the implementation within the next 3 – 6 months.  This means that there is the possibility of another round of assistance by the Government to be announced in the Main Estimates for the fiscal year 2020/21.

Specific details of Stimulus Measures from Government and Government Entities

National Provident Fund

  • 6month moratorium for the Hospitality Sector;
  • 2months rent free at any SNPF property;
  • Refund to all contributor’s loan repayments made to personal loans for the whole month of March;
  • Contributors made unemployed in the Hospitality sector by the COVID19 will be able to withdraw 20% of their contributors.  This is usually implemented only for retired, migrated or deceased contributors;

Accident Compensation Corporation

  • 6month moratorium for the Hospitality Sector;
  • 2month moratorium for all other sectors;
  • 2months rent free at any ACC property including the Fugalei market;
  • SAT$2million capital injection to assist in financing the Stimulus Package;

Samoa Ports Authority

  • 3months rent free for all businesses operating on all wharves;
  • 3months refund on all stevedoring licenses;
  • 20% reduction on all wharfage fees for 3months;

Samoa Airport Authority

  • 3months rent free for all businesses operating within the Faleolo Airport;

Electric Power Corporation

  • 50% reduction in the hotels’ Daily Fixed Rate for 3 months;
  • 10 sene reduction in the price of electricity for 6 months

Samoa Housing Corporation

  • 3months moratorium on all loan repayments;
  • 50% reduction in interest rates on all loans for 6months;

Land Transport Authority

  • Registration fees for taxi’s and buses waived for the months of June and September – vehicles will still need to be brought in for inspection;
  • All late fees waived for vehicle inspections and registrations;
  • 10% reduction on all registrations of motor vehicles for the rest of the calendar year;

Ministry for Customs and Revenue

  • 2 months extension on income tax due dates and all late fees for late filing to be waived;
  • Expansion of the Code 121 to include all equipments and inputs required for agricultural and fisheries development regardless of “qualifying project” status;
  • Duty concession on a specific food essentials identified by the Ministry of Finance;

Ministry of Finance

  • Government to carry 3months of loan repayments for all small businesses under its Government Guarantee Schemes administered by the Samoa Business Hub;
  • Government to provide interest relief for all loans with the Development Bank for 2months;
  • Government to provide 3 months rent free for all businesses renting at the DBS Building;
  • Government to provide 2months rent free at all Samoa Land Corporation markets at Savalalo, Vaitele and Salelologa;
  • $300 one-off special pension to be added to the next monthly pension of $145tala;
  • Government to carry 2% of total interest on all loans with every commercial bank for 3months namely NBS, BSP, SCB and ANZ;
  • 10sene reduction in the price of electricity, the Ministry of Finance will carry 7sene and the Electric Power Corporation is to carry 3sene for 6months;
  • 20sene reduction in water rates for 6months which will be covered by the Ministry of Finance;
  • $1million tala Capital Injection to the Samoa Airways to allow the airline pay its dues to local businesses while the airline is grounded by the Government’s travel ban;

FURTHER DETAILS

For the full details of the Governments stimulus measures, please click on the link Government Stimulus measures

For details of Samoa National Provident Fund assistance please click on the link SNPF COVID Press Release

For a summary of the details for the Tourism sector assistance click on the link Tourism Sector COVID Press Release

 

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