Pacific Economist Wadan Narsey has highlighted his perspective on the significance of untaxed remittance inflows into Fiji.
With a staggering $1 billion pouring into the country this year alone, Narsey argues that these funds are a vital lifeline for households, directly combating poverty at its core.
Narsey emphasizes that the funds sent by individuals abroad may have already been subjected to taxation in their respective source countries.
As a result, he says double taxation would burden hardworking individuals seeking to support their loved ones back in Fiji.
By exempting remittances from taxation, the government can avoid imposing unnecessary financial strain on these households.
“There is a real danger about taxing in all of my writings I have said that when you look at the gross process of sugar, it’s $150million, retained earnings from tourism even though they said they’re saying they’ve earned more than a billion dollars but a lot of that just goes overseas and so the retained earnings is about 6-$700million, remittances have for the first time now exceeded $1billion.”
Narsey states that while official figures boast growth and progress over the past six to seven years, the tangible impact on ordinary citizens remains elusive.
He adds that, in stark contrast, remittance money flowing into the hands of the locals is channelled towards poverty alleviation.
Although some funds may be spent unwisely, this is an inherent characteristic of expenditure worldwide.
The untaxed remittance windfall serves as a testament to the dedication and resilience of Fijians living abroad, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to supporting their families and communities.