The 2018-2019 National Budget lacks vision for the long term.
SODELPA Leader- Sitiveni Rabuka said this in a statement during a press conference on his analyses of the budget.
The former Prime Minister believes that the new allocations does not care for the Fijian families as claimed by the Minister for Economy.
Laying out his analysis about the National Budget for this year and next year- the SODELPA Leaders says it is sugar coated and irresponsible.
“I believe that the 2018-2019 budget is very sugary – it is coated with alot of sugar but is still irresponsible and lacks vision for the long term. It doesn’t care about Fijians as claimed by the Minister of Economy.”
Rabuka adds it is important to have job securities first for civil servants before all the incentives allocated by the Fiji Government as part of the budget.
He says once there is job security, then these incentives will be more meaningful to them.
“There are incentives, there are other initiatives other than focusing on this monetarily visible so called benefits. People want job security. Once they have a job security- than there will be incentives or more meaningful experience of a disposable income.”
Rabuka also stated that there is a better way of helping new home owners rather than giving handouts.
“One thousand dollars pay out to each new born is a hand out and playing $500 for that to bank has a hidden opportunity cost because the money will be borrowed and idle for long period and neither transparent. Better options are available when it comes to mine- its the tax repay of $1,000- $1,500 that was previously available. It was available in the colonial days – the SVT days.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Economy- Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum mentioned earlier on while presenting the National Budget that the initiatives and new allocations are to benefit each and every Fijians.
The total revenue forecast for the 2018/2019 National Budget is $4.236 billion while the total expenditure is $4.65 billion.