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Parliament

Printing money is not free State funding

July 28, 2021 4:45 pm

The Opposition lacks the imagination to respond to the 2021/2022 National Budget or the humility to agree to its merits.

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had this to say in response to criticism of the new budget in and out of parliament.

Sayed-Khaiyum picked on a suggestion from Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya to print more currency, saying this is not the answer to solving Fiji’s economic woes.

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“The government does not have the legal right to print money. In every country including Fiji, this is left to the independent central bank – the RBF in our case. We don’t interfere with independent institutions, in particular, that’s governed and run by the Reserve Bank.”

Sayed-Khaiyum points out that the government does not have the authority to tell the Reserve Bank to print more money – and if the Central Bank did so – there would be no free cash for the State.

“Why aren’t other countries doing it? Why didn’t the Ratu Mara government do it? Or Chaudhry or Qarase government print money and give it free to government? The RBF limits the amount it lends to government? There is no free money that can be created by printing money.”

The minister maintains that they are not about political point-scoring, and the budget has been prepared with full consideration of Fiji’s situation.

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