Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Labour market conditions remain tight

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad says claims made by some unscrupulous politicians that there is massive unemployment in the country are bogus and designed to mislead.

Prof Prasad said the demand for labour shows as indicated by the Bureau of Statistics, Reserve Bank of Fiji, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the business community recognizes that Fiji has a tight labour market.

He said there is a labour shortage and business people are looking and cannot find skilled labour.

According to the Reserve Bank of Fiji, labour market conditions remained tight amid high migration as demand for labour continues to grow.

The Central Bank said according to March collections, the total number of jobs advertised grew by 15.3 per cent, noted in the same period in 2023, with higher recruitment intentions noticeable.

However, Prof Prasad said the fiscal stance reflected in the 2023-2024 Budget remains broadly appropriate as a moderate fiscal consolidation balances medium-term goals.

He said a narrowing output gap and accommodated monetary conditions.

“The Fijian authorities have made impressive progress in mobilising domestic revenue, although spending has also increased. The 2023-2024 Budget appropriately included revenue and unseen measures and VAT, corporate tax and departure tax as well as removing certain tax concessions and incentives.”

Prof Prasad said the total fiscal impact of the budget is estimated at 4.6 per cent of Fiji’s Gross Domestic Product.

The Ministry of Finance has indicated that inflation has dropped down to 3.6 per cent in January from five per cent for the year 2023.

This is according to the RBF which the Deputy Prime Minister said was a very good trend.

“The impact of a VAT increase from nine per cent to 15 per cent on some of the household items apart from the basic 21 food items was temporary,” he added.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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