MP salary hike may fuel inflation, warns Ratuva

May 29, 2024 12:50 pm

[ Source : Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

Fijian taxpayers are set to bear the financial burden of the recent increase in salaries and allowances for Members of Parliament, according to Political Sociologist Professor Steven Ratuva.

The adjustment, which adds an extra $8 million to the parliamentary budget has sparked significant concern over its broader economic implications.

Prof Ratuva warns that the increased expenditure will have ramifications for the economy.

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This, he says potentially fuels inflation and will lead to greater demands for wage hikes across various sectors.

He also highlights ethical concerns noting that the perception of such a pay rise amid economic challenges is problematic.

The Fijian academic says the impact of this change will resonate across the economy.

”So it’s the taxpayers. So it will have ramifications, we are a small economy, although 8 million sounds small but we are very small economy and the civil service sizes small as well.”

Prof Ratuva also highlights that we are already seeing political parties starting to unravel internally with supporters calling out their leaders whether it’s FijiFirst, People’s Alliance Party or any other political party.

This public discontent, he predicts is likely to translate into votes in the upcoming 2026 general election although its significance remains to be seen.

Prof Ratuva emphasizes that public dissatisfaction has been growing since FijiFirst was in power and now the current government, marking one of the most vocal periods of public concern in the past decade.

This discontent, he states spans various professional and ethnic groups and it signals a broad-based challenge to the political status quo.