The Fiery Critique: Impact of VAT Hike

The impact of inflation on our people has been catastrophic, says Independent Member of Parliament Jone Usamate.

During the budget debate in Parliament yesterday, he said the Government’s decision to raise VAT by 66 percent last year had brought a “ferocious hurricane” in the country.

“The people of Fiji are battling high inflation that has been brought about initially by global forces, but which were then fanned into a frenzy, becoming a ferocious hurricane by the decision of this Government to raise VAT by 66 percent last year,” Mr. Usamate said.

“I’m glad to see the raising of the national minimum wage to $4.50 and then to $5 an hour.

“I also understand that the sectoral minimum wages will also be increased by the same quantum, and civil service pay will also increase.

“All of this will help people to ride the wave of the high cost of living that this government is largely responsible for.”

He said the decision by the Government to set aside up to $52 million for the FNPF pensioners whose pensions were reduced had been applauded widely.

“This is a welcome respite for the pensioners who receive the payments, and I’m glad for them and their families.

“The payment is being made by the Government out of taxpayer funds and not out of FNPF funds.

“This validates the initial decision taken to amend the FNPF pension levels to ensure the sustainability of FNPF.

“Without that reform, FNPF would be in a dire situation right now and would go head over heels by the year 2050, meaning that future pensioners would not benefit from it.

“The decision by the then government took guts and gumption; this Government must be willing to do the same when it is required to do so.”

Popular Categories

Latest News

Search the website