Monday, June 17, 2024
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Government intentions are cunning: Seruiratu

The Leader of Opposition Inia Seruiratu is questioning the Government’s intention to decrease Fiji’s debt-to-GDP ratio but at the same time, writing off $600 million of student debt.

According to the Ministry of Finance, Fiji’s debt to GDP sat at 90 percent in 2022 and intends to decrease it by 10 percent by July 2024.

Seruiratu said close to $1 billion has been added to Fiji’s debt and accused the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of being cunning with his explanation.

“He is cunningly telling the people, hoodwinking the people that Fiji’s debt to GDP ratio has decreased but fiscal debt has increased. Do not hoodwink the people. The bottom line is that the Fijian people will service this debt,” he said.

Also, the former FijiFirst Minister attributed the economy’s growth currently being experienced in the country to the initiatives and policies put in place by them two years ago.

Speaking in Parliament earlier this month, Seruiratu said post-pandemic Fiji was the fifth fastest growing economy in the world.

“This was a gift to the Coalition Government.”

The Leader of the Opposition also highlighted that a downward trend had already been forecasted for the next two years and questioned what the Government was going to do.

He said the forecasted expenditure is over $4 billion and questioned why the Government intends to spend below the expenditure forecasted, which would deny Fijians the services that they deserve.

However, the Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad says that Fiji’s economy in the last 18 months has bounced back well.

Prof Prasad said by July 2024, the Government would have been able to decrease Fiji’s debt-to-GDP ratio from 90 percent to 80 percent.

“Fiji still has a long way to go and the path to fiscal discipline and debt reduction must continue. While these actions may have been painful, they ensured long-term debt sustainability,” Prof Prasad said.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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