Shameful and Disgraceful
Overseas travel allowances for PM and Ministers
“Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will receive over $59,400 in overseas travel allowance at a daily rate of $3,300.43 for 18 days for attending COP 26 while the unemployed and those suffering losses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic get $360 for 3 months or $30 a week”.
“How does one comprehend the painful fact that the leader of a nation will earn $59,000 in 18 days while most average cane growers received little or no income in their final cane payment 16 months after selling their crop to Fiji Sugar Corporation and are staring at a future full of darkness, uncertainty and bleak Diwali next week?”
National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad made the comments following his tour of Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki this week. He said the suffering of people in the rural areas, particularly the cane belts was the portrait of a nation governed like a “Animal Farm” where “some are more equal than others”.
“The trip may have been funded by the Australian government, the people of Fiji are paying the exorbitant allowances of the Prime Minister and the Attorney General”. While the PM will receive a daily allowance of $3,300.43 or a total of $59,407.74 for 18 days, the AG will get $2,814.66 per day or a total of $50,663.88 for 18 days”. So the two of them will collect a total of $110,071.62 for 18 days”.
“Employers have and will undoubtedly use Act of God definition of Covid-19 to terminate employment of workers without just compensation or meaningful redundancy package. Fiji Airways is an example of this. And now when it is hiring workers, the flight attendants who took legal action against the airline for its failure to pay a redundancy package are being told they won’t be considered just because they decided to use legal redress to their grievances”.
“At least 50% of our population is in poverty or on the margins of poverty. Thousands are in abject poverty. The rate of poverty increased to almost 30% in six years until February 2020 before the first wave of Covid and at a time when Fiji First government bragged about Bainimarama Boom”.
“Nothing in the Fiji First Government’s leadership of this country has been a bigger disgrace than Ministerial salaries and allowances. When it comes to paying themselves, Fiji First have undoubtedly made great achievements”
“But when it comes to providing meaningful assistance to people, especially during economically depressed times, Fiji First drip-feeds help like the $360 pay-out that works out to $30 a week or $4.28 per day for three months”.
“This is not leadership. This is greed. And it has to stop”.