Navigating the Cost of Living: The Untold Truth

The cost of living continues to be a contentious issue often used in political debates. Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad addressed the matter in Parliament yesterday during his reply after all members had responded to the 2024/2025 National Budget announcement.

Professor Prasad emphasized the significance of the cost of living issue, noting that it concerns everyone. However, he pointed out the limitations of government intervention in price regulation, which is predominantly influenced by market forces like demand and supply.

He explained that the prices set by sellers or producers take into account production costs, including labor, raw materials, transportation, storage, taxes, and other associated expenses. “Based on the level of demand and competition from other suppliers, they decide the markup on the final price of the product,” he said, adding that no product would be sold below the cost of production.

The Finance Minister further mentioned that while the government can influence prices to some extent, such as through tax adjustments or price controls, the impact is limited. Additionally, governments can produce certain products or services themselves, like water, and offer them at a loss, but even this approach has its bounds.

“There are trade-offs for every decision, and as a government, we have looked at the available options,” he stated. He assured that the Minister for Trade, working through the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC), is continually assessing how policies and tools can be utilized to ease the financial burden on citizens.

Professor Prasad also hinted that the Deputy Prime Minister would soon be making some critical decisions regarding this issue. “There are always trade-offs with any policy choice, and it is not an easy task,” he concluded.

Popular Categories

Latest News

Search the website