Three Deputy Prime Ministers is costly, says Naupoto

July 12, 2023 4:24 pm

Opposition MP Viliame Naupoto

Fiji is one of the smallest country in the world, yet it has three Deputy Prime Ministers, says Opposition MP Viliame Naupoto.

The former RFMF Commander says this is an issue with the coalition government as having three deputies’ costs a lot of money.

Naupoto further claims that this is not a good start for the government as they have busted their budget ever since coming into power.

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“They started by creating history when they made themselves Ministers and Assistant Ministers and perhaps the only country in the world small as we are having three deputy prime ministers and with it came the perks.”

Naupoto says the FijiFirst Party is indirectly still leading the government as the coalition government is still using previous administration’s budget.

“There was nothing new, for the most part, they just took the FijiFirst programmes and ran with it, a little bit of renaming here and there to create an illusion of newness but in some way it made sense because when they came into power instead of laying the foundation for this budget through a minibudget, they just ran with the budget that was prepared by the FijiFirst government.

In response, Attorney General Siromi Turaga says the coalition government is doing all it can to repay the debt created by the FijiFirst government over the last 16 years.

“It is no doubt a budget that makes tough and responsible decisions given the high debt level this government has inherited from its predecessor the FijiFirst government which it irresponsibility borrowed to finance government expenditure.”

Turaga says according to the World Bank Fiji Public Expenditure Review in April, Fiji recorded the fourth worst GDP decline in the world.

He says according to the review, Fiji’s GDP is four times worse than the average for Pacific Island country.