June 5 2022
The Prime Minister’s claim, that the Fiji First Party has managed the Fiji economy better than any other Government, is a bad joke.
The Fiji Government is now deeper in debt than ever before.
Its economic management is out of control. It is just borrowing and spending to get re-elected.
The Government has not invested for the future in the three most critical sectors for the growth of our economy – education, health and infrastructure.
And its toxic, bullying leadership style holds back our ability to work together to make Fiji better.
For the last 10 years, the Government has poured borrowed money into the economy to make it grow, so that it can claim “continuous economic growth”.
But the rate of growth – not much more than 3% - has still been weak. A successful developing country economy should grow at well above 5% per year, based on real private investment, not borrowed Government money.
The Government spending party ended in 2019 when it finally realised that the borrowing and spending could not continue. As soon as the Government cut its spending, the economy went backwards. All of this was before Covid-19 came along.
And then, with Covid, the Government was forced to borrow more, leaving Fiji at dangerous levels of debt. Australia and New Zealand have to give the Government hundreds of millions just to keep our social welfare and other critical spending going.
For 15 years the Fiji First Party has dished out freebies and spent poorly on roads, while the education system has gone backwards and the health system is in near collapse.
Our power system has frequent, unexplained blackouts. Thousands of people wake up every day to no water.
Overseas, Fiji has a reputation for ever-changing rules and over-regulation, which deters foreign investment.
At a time when the world needs agricultural produce, our agricultural sector is weak, because of years of neglect.
If education and health do not improve, Fiji’s people cannot be productive.
Until our infrastructure functions properly, we cannot build more houses, factories or offices and real economic growth cannot take place.
Real economic growth comes from healthy, productive, creative people who are not bullied and frightened by their leaders.
Fiji’s people, not its government, will grow the economy – as long as the Government works with the people, listens to what they need and works alongside them.
This is the role of the government in the economy – and this is where Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum have completely failed in their management of our economy.
This is why, for the sake of Fiji, they have to be kicked out of office.