Fonotoe express concerns over high interest rate for SNPF short term loans


Leader of the Opposition, Fonotoe Lauofo Pierre this week in Parliament expressed concerns over the high-interest rate of Short Term Loans with the Samoa National Provident. 

He said the SNPF allows members to loan up to 15% of their total contribution, yet the interest is 12%, this is considerably high, yet they are loaning from their own money. 

He then pointed out that commercial banks’ interests are up to 9 per cent. Fonote then appealed to the SNPF to reconsider this high-interest rate. 

Fonotoe also urged the SNPF to continue their $300 pension payout as part of covid assistance considering. 

Acting Minister of Finance, Leota Laki Lamositele says the appeal pertaining to the high-interest rates will be considered. Additionally, commercial banks have a high-interest rate for any loans due to administration costs. 

According to the Acting Minister, NPF’s interest rates is to ensure the generation of sustainable dividend for members of the Fund. Also, the low-interest rate for private banks is that they can afford to loan out large sums of money and therefore repayments will also be lengthy hence ensuring the flow of money for the NPF in the long term.

Fonotoe took the floor again and recommended cashing out $300 from the Fund for the pensioners on a yearly basis, also commended the benefits of free hospital visits and medications to our elderly. 

He further asked the government to consider a feasibility study to include transportation of vehicle fees to be covered for pensioners, similar to travels between Samoa and Savii.

Deputy Speaker, Auapa’au Mulipola Aloitafua – Member of Parliament for the Aiga i le Tai noted that the government should increase the pension specifically for his constituency as they are not included in the free travelling benefit between Upolu and Manono Tai considering the expenses of inter-island trips and the lack of ferries available at times.