Fiscal Policy Impact: Rich vs. Poor

The present fiscal policies are widening the gap between the rich and the poor, says former FijiFirst MP Faiyaz Koya.

Delivering his reply to the 2024-2025 budget during the debate in Parliament on Monday, Mr. Koya said the increase in fringe benefit tax and other indirect taxes would be passed on to consumers, making everyday goods and services more expensive for the average Fijian.

“This government’s policies are burdening ordinary citizens while benefiting a select few and it is actually very obvious,” Mr. Koya said.

“It falls short on tax collections, raising concerns about the government’s effectiveness or the government’s revenue strategies.

“And without robust revenue, the ability to fund essential services and support the vulnerable diminishes.”

Mr. Koya said the Coalition Government had not done enough for the poor and the working class.

“Teachers feel undervalued and underpaid.

“There is a glaring lack of initiative to retain the talent within the country or to invest in human capital.

“No significant project, no meaningful infrastructure development, no concrete plans to uplift the poor have been proposed.

“The government’s social protection measures are inadequate, leaving many vulnerable communities without the help they desperately need.

“I think one of the biggest reasons why the Minister (Finance Minister) did not go right around the countryside was because he knew the reaction he was actually going to get.”

Mr. Koya said the budget also lacked some transparency and accountability.

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