Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has labelled the comments made by political parties and other critics against the 2022-23 National Budget as simply grandstanding.
Sayed-Khaiyum says these parties have no economic plans as none of them have come up with an alternative budget in recent years.
He adds the ruling government and its leader, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, are unmatched and other parties will always try to pick on something.
The National Federation Party and the People’s Alliance have picked on the Inflation Mitigation Package.
Sayed-Khaiyum says comments by the NFP and The People’s Alliance are insulting to beneficiaries of this assistance.
“It is actually $1 a day. I understand the NFP has called it a Saqamoli budget, I mean what a ridiculous thing to say. It’s in fact an insult to the parents of those children, it’s an insult to children”.
Sayed-Khaiyum explains why assistance like the Mitigation Package is only for six-months.
“These are specifically driven to ensure that we provide a particular relief in a particular period of time. Why is it six months? It’s because if you read all the literature, most prediction is that the inflation will peak by November and December. What does peak mean? It means it will be the highest and after that drops, so if the price of things drops then obviously you don’t need the mitigation for inflation.”
Sayed-Khaiyum also responded to Unity Fiji Leader Savenaca Narube who has written to the Prime Minister to sack him.
“All these politicians who are talking about this budget, all sorts of claims like Narube calling for resignation, Rabuka is saying already we are struggling and we offered this and the other political parties saying we have not offered enough and you know NFP and PA are supposed to be all together but they are making contradictory statements. None of these people actually have an alternative.”
The Minister says the Fijian population should listen to what these politicians are saying, who have no alternative and lack leadership skills.
He says these politicians are engaging in demagoguery which will lead the country nowhere.
He stressed the budget has got nothing to do with General Election as it is directed towards resolving real issues affecting the lives of citizens.