Fijians urged to be cautious with spending

May 7, 2022 7:25 am

Fijians can expect prices of goods and services to increase further in the coming months.

Speaking on Radio Fiji One’s ‘Na Noda Paraimnisita’, Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama says the prices are soaring because of global market activities and the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Bainimarama is urging Fijians to be wary of what is evolving globally because it will have ripple effects on our cost of living, as Fiji imports most of its goods and services.

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“Our inflation rate stood at 4.7 percent in March this year. We must also expect a decrease in import rate by three percent next year, and 2.6 percent in 2024. The changing prices are the rippling effects of the changing global prices or market activities.”

Despite this forecast, the government is putting in the hard yards to cushion the impact of this global economic turmoil.

Bainimarama says new policies to assist Fijians are reflected in the revised budget.

“We will continue to prioritize the need of every Fijian. Hence, the government imposed zero-rated VAT on 21 basic consumer items effective last month. The government decided to take this tough decision to cushion the impacts of higher global prices on Fijian consumers. The government expects to lose around $163 million in tax revenues from zero-rating these goods.”

Bainimarama adds the government has spent at least $430 million to assist Fijians affected by the pandemic.

“We will continue to assist Fijians when and where necessary. We have allocated $9.7 million to the Sugar Ministry to assist sugarcane farmers to purchase fertilizers, $3.2 million to pay the first 100 kilowatts for Fijians earning below $30,000 per annum, and increasing the minimum wage rate among others.”

The Prime Minister stresses that the government will continue to monitor the global and local economic status.