NFP tells AG to stop lying about debt
July 4, 2022
Instead of trying to justify Fiji’s huge debt burden with his illogical and warped reasons, the Attorney-General and Economy Minister should explain to the people of Fiji how the debt burden of every Fiji citizen has increased from $3,410 in 2006 to about $10,140 in over 15 years of Bainimarama and Fiji First governments, said National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad.
The NFP Leader was responding to Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s remarks during budget consultation in Nausori that Fiji’s economy was being politicised in an election year because people only focus on Fiji’s debt level and not those of other countries pre and post-Covid.
Professor Prasad said Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is comparing apples with oranges by hopelessly trying to portray Fiji’s current debt of $9.125 billion as stated in Government’s Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released on 9th May this year, to debt levels of other countries particularly Australia and New Zealand.
“Australia and New Zealand provided almost $400 million to Fiji in budget support in 2021 because they knew Fiji’s financial position was in a precarious position”.
“What Mr Sayed-Khaiyum should explain is how the debt level ballooned from $2.83 billion before the military coup in December 2006 to a projected $9.125 billion this year”.
“It means that after 36 years of Independence, Fiji’s debt stood at only $2.83 billion while in little over 15 years of Bainimarama and Fiji First rule, debt increased by $6.2 billion”.
“In 2006, the debt burden on every person in our estimated population of 830,000 was $3,410. Now every Fijian of our current projected population of 900,000 has a debt burden of almost $10,140. This is a huge increase by $6,730”.
“Why isn’t this cold hard truth explained to the people attending the Economy Minister’s budget consultation?”
“No matter how Fiji’s defacto Prime Minister tries to camouflage the issue, debt is debt. It’s a burden on the people, whether it be short-term borrowing, concession or soft loans on a longer repayment term”.
“$6.2 billion worth of loans in 15 years is huge but this government hasn’t achieved any milestone that will be beneficial to the nation in future”.
“All Sayed-Khaiyum and Fiji First government have done is to bequeath to future generations a debt-ridden country and economy”.
“This is the legacy that the two-man rule will leave behind for Fiji after the elections”.