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Poverty gap is unsettling, says Chaudhry

 

Sep 14, 2021 05:51:45 PM

Poverty gap is unsettling, says Chaudhry Fiji Labour Party Leader and former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry says the enormous gap between the two major communities in the country is unsettling and could have very serious ramifications in terms of social stability.

Chaudhry said in the years before the 2006 coup, difference in poverty levels among the indigenous and Fijians of Indian origin population was negligible.

He said the iTaukei could see themselves as being marginalised in their own land which could lead to resentments with serious political repercussions.

“We have to ask ourselves how this huge gap was created. It undoubtedly shows that the i-Taukei community is being neglected by the FijiFirst Government,” he said.

“The Household Income and Expenditure Survey also showed an alarmingly high level of poverty in the rural sector by 62 percent as opposed to 37 percent in the urban centres.

“This again is a reflection of the FijiFirst Government’s policies for the rural sector. They have neglected the rural sector which is something the Party has consistently hammered on.

“The deteriorating state of rural infrastructure and the neglect of agriculture and other primary resources, have had a marked impact on the incomes of the rural people and Government policies have been too lopsided with heavy emphasis on tourism," he added.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka

 

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