Voters urged to reject self-serving leaders

May 26, 2024 12:53 pm

Unity Fiji Party Leader and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Savenaca Narube [Source: Unity Fiji/Facebook]

The faces in Parliament have changed but it’s the same old self-serving tactics, according to Unity Fiji Party Leader and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Savenaca Narube.

This statement comes after Members of Parliament endorsed a motion to increase their salaries and allowances.

Narube criticizes this move saying it shows no shame or logic and resembles the actions of the previous FijiFirst government which according to him, disregarded public opinion.

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He argues that higher salaries will lead to higher prices, further raising the cost of living and pushing more people below the poverty line.

Narube claims that the Coalition Government has done nothing to moderate the rise in the cost of living.

[Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

Instead, he asserts that they have worsened the situation by raising VAT to 15 percent.

He believes that this has institutionalized the higher cost of living and that the increased parliamentary wage bill will reduce public resources available for essential services like health, education, law and order, drug prevention and social welfare.

Narube also points out that many workers have not received any pay rise since the COVID pandemic and many companies are unable to provide pay increases.

He fears this may lead to industrial unrest and he believes the government in its mediation role will be unable to call for wage restraint.

[Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

Narube criticizes the recommendations of the Emoluments Committee stating that they lack economic and financial logic.

He argues that the importance and breadth of Parliamentarians’ duties remain unchanged and that their pay is not performance-based as no one assesses their performance.

He contends that the government’s decision to award itself a substantial pay increase following a rise in non-taxable allowances last year is a slap in the face of the people.

According to Narube, Parliament’s decision has triggered a series of chain reactions that will seriously harm the economy’s potential to grow and reduce poverty.

[Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

He also believes that this decision will make it very difficult to reduce debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product.

Narube says he fully understands if people feel betrayed by those they voted for as Parliamentarians have once again prioritized their interests over those of the people.

Narube urges voters to put a stop to these self-serving leaders and insists that Parliamentarians should not decide their own pay.

He calls for an independent committee to be given this responsibility.

To enable this change, Narube advocates for the removal of the imposed 2013 Constitution through legal means.

He advises Fijians to carefully consider who they vote for in the next election.

[Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]