Narube warns of growing economic disparity

June 11, 2024 4:42 pm

Pressure is mounting on the government to increase the minimum wage to $5 per hour or more, alongside a substantial rise in social welfare spending.

Unity Fiji Party Leader and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Savenaca Narube argues that the current wage and welfare levels fail to keep pace with the escalating cost of living, leaving countless families struggling to survive.

Narube shares deepening concerns over economic disparity and the critical need for stronger support towards Fiji’s vulnerable population.

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He states that the government’s response to these demands will be key in addressing the widening gap between the wealthy and the poor.

“There’s not enough reforms that are being undertaken. And that’s some of the new components the components of the new economic platform. We also need to narrow this differential between the rich and the poor, it has widened a lot in the last 15, 16 years. We need to bring that back and I urge the government to increase minimum wages up to $5 an hour or even higher.”

Unity Fiji Party Leader and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Savenaca Narube

Narube maintains that while financial constraints are often cited, Fijians are enduring significant financial hardships.

He suggests that redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor through the national budget could alleviate some of these issues.

The Unity Fiji Party Leader recommends increasing spending on social welfare and education as part of this redistribution.

He also proposes that the burden of price increases should be shared more equitably between consumers and corporations.

This, he says can involve implementing temporary price controls on rapidly increasing costs and considering government subsidies funded by a special tax on the wealthy, including corporations.

Narube also mentions the potential use of the exchange rate as a tool to control inflation and mitigate price increases. He is urging the government to consider this option.