Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry.
You must hold the government to its election promises.
This was the advice of Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry to members of the Fiji Public Service Association.
Speaking as chief guest at the association’s annual convention to celebrate its 80th anniversary, Chaudhry was referring to the coalition government’s promise to increase civil service pay.
The former prime minister says he was saddened to note from the association’s annual report the struggle it faces in getting its grievances addressed.
Chaudhry says FPSA must recognize that it will be negotiating against a backdrop of severe financial constraints faced by the new government.
He says as a trade union, the association’s first duty is to its members and that it was facing serious challenges and lagging behind as per its claims.
Chaudhry told members that they must get ready for austerity measures, in light of recommendations made by the International Monetary Fund to unify the VAT rate a slightly higher level, incorporate tax reforms and raise excise and tourism-related taxes.
He added that the Fiscal Review Committee and National Economic Summit usually tend to err on the side of employers because they are generally dominated by powerful interest groups.