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Fiji's Opposition Member Pio Tikoduadua claims the 2019/2020 national budget will not reduce the cost of living.
In parliament last night, Tikoduadua says the budget does not provide incentives to increase wages and salaries based on the cost of living adjustments.
He says the budget presents the question a boom for whom?
“This budget will not provide a decent and meaningful increase to the minimum wage to make it a living wage. This budget is all about replicating the status quo of our sugar industry which has suffered a fifty percent downturn in the last 12 years under the Bainimarama boom.
And this budget is also slowly but surely killing the goose that is laying the golden egg, our tourism industry. By continuing to impose twenty-five percent taxes that are up pricing the industry compared to lucrative Asian destinations like Bali.”
Opposing the latest budget, Tikoduadua says it must not further oppress and enslave the people of Fiji.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama put the Opposition Members on notice for their analysis of the economy in the lead up to the announcement of the national budget.
Bainimarama reminded members of the house that there was a heightened level of responsibility as an MP that goes beyond political affiliations and becomes a duty to serve the Fijian people.
Speaking in support of the 2019-2020 budget, Bainimarama lashed out at some of the Opposition members for comments he says are aimed at manufacturing fear in Fiji’s economy.
“I only wish Mr. Speaker that when the Banks around the country came out and said that Honourable Lynda Tabuya’s claims were blatantly false and that liquidity levels indeed are healthy, this would be the end of the Opposition’s attempt at economic subversion, unfortunately the day before the 2019-2020 national budget was announced as you’ve heard, Honourable Speaker, the Honourable Leader of Opposition Sitiveni Rabuka chose to one-up his protégé by declaring to the cameras that the Fijian economy was on the brink of economic collapse without any idea of what was in our budget.”
Bainimarama adding that despite Fijis’ record economic growth a decade in, the Opposition has continued with its rhetoric to reject the tried and tested economic policies of the government.
“For these 10 years, our economic expansion has been consistent, year after year after year after year, we have broken records, lowered unemployment, improved our debt to GDP ratio and of course improved access to roads, clean water, to electricity and education.”
Meanwhile, responses from all the MPs on the national budget will continue today in Parliament.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
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