Church warns of downfall of Samoa govt over tax

The Samoa government‘s decision to tax the head of state and church ministers is the beginning of the “downfall” of the administration, according to a local church.

The claim was made during the general debate at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa‘s general assembly at Malua.

Photo: Tipi Autagavaia

The debate took place before the general assembly took a vote on the tax issue, where they decided to reject the law.

The media was not allowed inside the assembly but a recording of the debate obtained by the Sunday Samoan proves the extent of the church‘s opposition to the law.

One senior minister said the government‘s decision will be the downfall of the current administration.

He said church ministers should never pay taxes.

Samoa Prime Minister Tuila‘epa Sa‘ilele Malielegaoi Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The minister added that he does not want the issue to lead to the downfall of the government but if Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi insists, then so be it.

Another member suggested that there should be a set amount of money the church can pay to the government.

But not everyone opposed the tax, with one member saying it was better for ministers to pay their taxes rather than the church.

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