Fiji’s debt can be reduced: Bainimarama

August 8, 2022 4:40 pm

[File Photo]

The government can reduce its debt once more, just as it did in 2010.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama made this assurance while speaking on iTaukei Affairs’ Na iLalakai program on Radio Fiji One.

Bainimarama says the government’s debt dropped as its revenue increased in 2010, but it increased again as relief works were needed in 2016.

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“In 2010, the government debt reduced as there was an increase in government revenue. It reduced from 56.2% to 43% of GDP in 2015, but it increased again in 2016 as $500 million was needed for relief works after TC Winston, Josi and Keni.”

Bainimarama says COVID-19 has also affected the government’s revenue and affected our economy.

“So, before COVID-19 … the government’s revenue was on $3 billion per year, while expenditure was on $3.6 billion. So $500 million more was needed for the government to carry out its work in a year.”

Bainimarama says the economy is slowly reviving and debt is expected to be reduced in the next few years – this is due to government’s proper planning for expenditure.

He adds the government will continue to provide clarification on this topic as Fijians need to be informed about the country’s economic and debt status.

The Prime Minister further says that Fijians should not worry about the payment of debts as it is the government’s responsibility.

The government’s debt is on $9.1 billion, an increase from $7.6 billion in 2021.