COVID-19 response budget not related to pandemic says Rabuka
March 27, 2020 12:30 pm
Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka
Opposition Leader claims a fair share of the allocation from the COVID-19 response budget is not directly related to the pandemic response.
Sitiveni Rabuka says while the government argues that people urgently need a supplementary budget, it is a cover for the mismanagement of the economy.
“After looking through the allocation that they have come up with I believe too too little too late and in the wrong areas. Perhaps a redistribution of the normal budget for the year concentrating it on the areas needed the most rather than the areas we want to please would be a great move for Fiji.”
He adds that Fiji delayed its preventative measures against COVID-19.
“We could have prevented the pandemic from reaching our shores by closing our border earlier. Just like other pacific countries despite the fact that their economies are smaller than ours. Much more vulnerable than ours. I made a number of suggestions in the past asking government to take the necessary steps to reduce those risks.”
The Prime Minister says Fiji needs to turn the budget into the relief Fijians need.
“I don’t think many in that side of the house of parliament really appreciate just how important it is that we get this budget over the line. We need to put money in Fijian pockets now. We need to extend the lifeline to Fijian businesses. We need to get our doctors and nurses more of the lifesaving supplies they need to test and treat this virus.”
The PM says some members in parliament do not seriously realize what is happening around the world.