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Nawaikula’s motion for cost of living review defeated

May 25, 2020 4:50 pm
Opposition Member of Parliament Niko Nawaikula.

Opposition Member of Parliament Niko Nawaikula moved a motion to establish a special committee to review the cost of living amidst COVID-19.

Nawaikula says thousands of people are struggling and the Government and Opposition must combine force and face the national crisis together for the betterment of all Fijians.

Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula while commending the efforts of the Government says thousands of Fijians are in a difficult situation and there is a need for a better solution.

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“They are in desperate need of help today, even right now but they will “vosota” and carry the pain and the struggle as they try to keep themselves and their family safe from the coronavirus and to do so without that weekly pay-packet that they all depend on to sustain themselves and not knowing when their jobs will return.”

NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad projects the impact of COVID-19 will push more Fijians into poverty.

“If you look at the poverty statistics 28 to 30 percent the other 20 percent have always been in the margin. And we know that many of them are losing jobs, working on reduced hours and those on the margins you could be easily looking at 50 percent of the households in this country within a matter of months who would be falling below the poverty line.”

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the Opposition is using the current situation for its own political gain.

“I don’t see a need for a special committee to review the cost of .living when Fiji is already fighting so many challenges like the rest of the world and when inflation rates are already low. We should utilize our resources economically and sensibly at this time and not divert resources to review such propaganda’s when we need everyone’s commitment to getting the country back to its business.”

Following the lengthy debate, the motion was defeated.

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