Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji and Unity Fiji Leader Savenaca Narube says 44 per cent or 44 cents of every domestic revenue dollar earned is spent on servicing Government debt.
Speaking at the National Economic Summit in Suva today, Narube said a lot of discussion is taking place around the Government debt but no discussions have come forth on servicing the debt.
Narube refuted the projections from the Permanent Secretary of Finance Shiri Goundar that Fiji’s economy is expected to rebound by 2024, back to pre COVID levels and said the economy is not expected to fully recover till 2025.
“I can sense optimism, I can sense restoration in the confidence coming through the economy, but I think we are not out of the woods yet, and I hope that discussions derived from here are centred on going forward.”
He posed the three following questions before continuing with his presentation:
- How deep is the hole that Fiji is in?
- How do we dig ourselves out?
- In doing this, how do we not dig ourselves a bigger hole?
Narube said these are the risks that we need to put in the forefront of strategic planning.
“Before COVID-19 hit, Fiji’s average growth rate in the long term was two per cent, which was not enough to sustain Fiji.”
“In Fiji’s history, our current debt is the highest. What strategies do we have in place to take us forward in the short-term and into the long-term- Our policies should always reflect on the people,” Narube added.