The National Federation Party says Government’s desperate attempt to offer pre-election bribes to the voters of Fiji through the 2018-19 Budget will fail to weaken the strengthening winds of change blowing all over Fiji.
NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad said that what has been announced by the Minister for Economy will not reduce the skyrocketing cost of living that is strangulating a vast majority of our ordinary citizens.
“While the Budget has some good initiatives like increased maternity leave, introducing paternity leave and a $1000 allowance for birth of a child, there is nothing to alleviate the cost of living that is most serious concern of the people”.
“All it has done is to make noodle flavour duty free as well as zero duty on imported fruit and vegetables. But this is insignificant”.
“VAT remains on basic food items and prescription medication in a continuing betrayal of Fiji First’s 2014 promise to continue to zero-rate these items”.
“Ironically, the Fiji First Government has tried to copy some of our policies like a four lane highway between Nadi and Lautoka and a stabilization fund to ensure that cane growers receive $85 per tonne as price of cane. And this depends on Fiji Sugar Corporation selling its under-utilized assets”.
“This has come too little too late and is a desperate response to our solid and costed out plan to implement a minimum guaranteed price of $100 per tonne”.
“On one hand, Government is applying cosmetic solutions that are seen or perceived to be pro-people, on the other it continues to provide exorbitant funding to entities like Fiji Broadcasting Corporation to the tune of over $11million”.
“This Budget has also allocated a total of $12.5million for the Executive residence of the PM and a new PM’s Office complex. This is totally unnecessary”.