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Half population lives in poverty: NFP


Sep 14, 2021 03:18:47 PM

Half population lives in poverty: NFP National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad claims half of Fiji's population is now living in poverty.

Prasad in a statement said the household income and expenditure survey period did not cover the second wave of the virus and the fact that 29.1 per cent of the population were in poverty before the pandemic proves that the Bainimarama Boom was a myth and a vote-buying gimmick.

“Government has always bragged about the so-called nine years of unprecedented growth and boom. Yet, poverty increased from 28.1 per cent in less than six years,” he said.

“Undoubtedly, it has increased to 50 per cent because an estimated 20 per cent would have fallen into poverty because of massive unemployment.

“Those already in poverty are like to have slid into abject poverty especially in rural areas and informal settlements in urban and peri-urban areas after the outbreak of coronavirus,” he said.

He said the Government’s social wage policy and freebies before the 2018 elections did not alleviate poverty because the statistics of its own official agency doesn’t lie.

“Instead of uplifting the lives and livelihood of people, the monetary assistance was used for consumption due to exorbitant cost of living of food and medication,” he said.

“Tragically, the price has sky-rocketed after coronavirus due to various factors and beyond the means of 50 per cent of our population.

“We now have an impoverished nation where 50 per cent of our people may be struggling to put food on the table for their children and families.

“However, this Government is clueless on how to provide meaningful assistance. All it is good at is bragging about their failed policies and patting each other’s backs,” he said.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka






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