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Tax changes to produce fairer system: PM

November 7, 2015 8:47 pm

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says changes in tax are designed to produce a more equitable and fairer system which is targeted at improving the basic standard of living of ordinary Fijians.

Speaking at the 23rd Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Awards last night Bainimarama said the 2016 Budget is bold, imaginative and is designed to consolidate his Government’s achievements and capitalize on one of the longest running periods of growth.

“The centerpiece of these changes is the reduction in our Value Added Tax from 15 per cent to 9 per cent. It is a significant reduction in the tax every Fijian pays for the items they consume. Some of the exemptions that used to apply to certain goods have been abolished. But that is more than made up with the six per cent reduction in VAT on everything Fijian families require. And low income earners still benefit from the other provisions that currently exist for them, like an expanded free medicine list for those earning less than $20,000 a year; plus subsidized electricity for households, who also enjoy free water.”

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Bainimarama urged Fijians, especially the businesses to make a bigger effort to pay their fair share of tax.

“There is still too much tax and revenue leakage. And we intend to crack down on those companies and individuals who fail to meet their obligations. We have created one of the most generous tax regimes in the entire Pacific. So there is no excuse for those individuals and companies who are happy to reap the benefits but aren’t willing to pay their fair share.”

Bainimarama says in the past five years, Fiji’s exports have grown by more than 30 per cent – from $1.6billion in 2010 to $2.3billion last year.

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