Despite dropping the 2019 Pacific Games, large sporting projects still feature in the new budget, which indicates that tens of millions of pa’anga are to be spent on facilities, with most of the money coming from overseas donors.

The construction of the Games facilities has been factored into predictions about the kingdom’s economy and even though references to the Games have gone, the projects are still there.

It seems the government will still get its regional standard sporting facilities without actually having to hold the Games.

The facilities are being at least partly funded by overseas donors, including China, which is building the Tonga High School sports facilities at a cost of $55 million and the Teufaiva playground funded by New Zealand and Australia.

A golf course is planned to be funded by government of Tonga. The  Government allocated approximately $TP12 million for sports development.

Various contracts were approved from this allocation and signed between government and private sector organizations to undertake designing works in relation to construction activities.

The budget records the introduction of the government’s Pacific Games 2019 Taxation Incentives Act 2017 to encourage businesses and private sector development, but it is unclear whether it will remain operational.

The Foreign exchange levy introduced in June 2016 is now being described as being help finance sports development rather than  being specifically for the Games.

Nor is it immediately clear from the budget where revenues raised so far have gone and what will happen to them now the Games will not be held in Tonga.

The main points

  • Despite dropping the 2019 Pacific Games, large sporting projects still feature in the new budget.
  • The construction of the Games facilities has been factored into predictions about the kingdom’s economy even though references to the Games have gone.
  • The facilities are being partly funded by overseas donors, including China, which is building the Tonga High School sports facilities at a cost of $55 million.

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