The Legislative Assembly must assess government’s taxation.
This is according to Clause 78 of the Constitution. It stated Parliament’s must assess the amount of taxes paid by the people and all custom duties and fees for trading licences.
Lord Speaker emphasized that Clause 9 of the Government’s Act specifically pointed out that Parliament can repeal or amend Cabinet Regulations and Orders.
Lord Fakafanua said this clause explicitly stated Cabinet Ministers or the Prime Minister makes Regulations and Orders but Parliament is to finalise it.
He said the Legislative Assembly can either approve or disapproves it. However its submission must be within its sitting calendar.
Last week ‘Eua MP Tevita Lavemaau specifically asked Parliament for the submission to Parliament of new regulations for Budget 2018/19 pertaining to new tariffs and custom duties of the Ministry of Customs and Inland Revenue.
Lavemaau reasoned they are new tax collection and therefore must be first approved by Parliament.
He argued the new taxation can impact the proposed budget. Therefore it must be discussed before the Budget Estimate discussion.
This was met with resistance from the Hon. Minister of Inland Revenue Hon. Mateni Tapueluelu.
He argued an advice from the Crown Law strongly recommended that only Regulations and Act are submitted for Parliament’s approval.
Tapueluelu asserted he was advised that an Order made by Cabinet remains with Cabinet.