No comparative data for poverty breakdown
September 21, 2021 5:15 am
Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has explained why the 2019/2020 Household Income and Expenditure Survey is flawed. [Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji]
Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has explained why the 2019/2020 Household Income and Expenditure Survey is flawed.
Speaking in parliament, the minister says the Bureau of Statistics could not have accurately assessed poverty along racial and religious lines because there was no reference data for comparison.
He says the 2007 National Census did not have population statistics based on race or religion and therefore the poverty survey cannot be verified.
“If you cannot rely on the census ethnic breakdown, how will you assess poverty on the basis of ethnicity? How will you choose your sample size?”
Sayed-Khaiyum adds the race and religion based data on poverty has taken attention away from more pressing matters in the report, and Opposition MPS have become fixated.
“All the other members are now obsessed with ethnicity even though it demonstrates that it was flawed. They are still obsessed with it because they think it’s a smoking gun”.
Sayed-Khaiyum also says government intervention in the past based on ethnic lines, has not worked.
“Affirmative action after Rabuka’s coup. Affirmative action under Qarase, who are the people who benefitted? Not the ordinary iTaukei people, it was the well-connected iTaukei people. They are the ones who go access to it”.
The government has condemned the racial and religious breakdown of poverty statistics in the 2019/2020 HIES.