We need an immediate solution to help those in need, says National Federation Party Leader Prof Biman Prasad.
Prof Prasad says with most parents, who were sole bread winners- now unemployed, government needs to take immediate action and not just wait for the Budget.
Urging government to allocate resources immediately from either their response budget or the funds Fiji has been receiving from overseas donors, Prof Biman says help must be quick.
Some he says must be ‘directly given to those who are struggling to put food on their table.
“Everybody is going through a financial crunch. And it is the government’s responsibility right now to ensure that the vulnerable, the poor and those who are struggling to put food on the table, must be helped now”.
He suggested the Fiji National Provident Fund reassess its COVID-19 policies to assist those who are not eligible for the assistance.
“People who were unemployed even before the COVID 19- so if you apply the 6 months rule, but what about the people who were unemployed before. I think if we are looking at FNPF providing relief to them. The FNPF should re-look at some of those policies that they have put in place and look at those who are not eligible right now to come up with a smarter plan to help them”.
Government ministers, he says, need to put together strategies immediately on how they can identify those families.
“These people must plan- they must look at the statistics, they must look at the data. They must find out who these people are and put up a strategy so that they can be helped”.
The most vulnerable families need to be helped, other strategies on how to revive the economy can come in later in the budget.