Acting General Secretary of FijiFirst Faiyaz Koya [File Photo]
Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad has refuted claims by FijiFirst Acting General Secretary Faiyaz Koya about economic policies of the coalition government.
In response, Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad stresses that the Coalition government inherited a deteriorated health, education and social infrastructure from FijiFirst.
The Acting General Secretary of FijiFirst claims that the Coalition government lacks innovation and creativity in its economic policies which has resulted in widening wealth gaps and increased hardships for the poor.
According to Faiyaz Koya, despite talk of investments, there is little tangible progress on the ground.
He criticizes the government for insufficient infrastructure spending, a lack of job incentives and a substantial increase in national debt without corresponding improvements.
Koya argues that the claim of having to pay off major debts contradicts the fact that the government has taken on more debt, suggesting that previous debts were well-managed.
He asserts that the government’s failure to instill confidence in the economy has left Fiji in a weakened state, emphasizing the need for an investor-friendly environment that genuinely cares for all citizens.
Koya points out that approximately six percent of Fiji’s population has emigrated, resulting in a loss of skilled workers and an additional burden on the economy.
He also claims that Fiji’s economic deceleration is evident in the Reserve Bank of Fiji’s latest release this week which indicates a lack of innovation and creativity in the Coalition Government’s economic policies.
In response, Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad asserts that the Coalition government inherited a deteriorated health, education and social infrastructure from FijiFirst.
Prasad emphasizes the government’s efforts to address these issues including assistance to families, children and farmers.
He cites initiatives such as increased social welfare, a $200 back-to-school support for over 220,000 students and the forgiveness of a $650 million student loans burdening 53,000 families.
Prasad invites Koya to adopt a new approach to politics for the country’s benefit, acknowledging the freedom and inclusive nature of governance provided by the Coalition government.
He asserts that FijiFirst should become more constructive and meaningful in its year in opposition by moving beyond wasteful and childish criticisms of government policies.
Prasad also notes FijiFirst’s refusal to participate in discussions on the national development plan contrasting it with the Unity Fiji Party Leader Savenaca Narube’s constructive contributions.
Prasad reiterates the Coalition government’s commitment, led by Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka to deliver better services to Fijians and create an enabling environment for sustained economic growth.