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Stop lying about national debt: Prasad


Jul 04, 2022 05:48:22 PM

Stop lying about national debt: Prasad National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says Attorney-General and Economy Minister should explain how the debt burden of every Fiji citizen has increased from $3,410 in 2006 to about $10,140 in over 15 years.

Prof Prasad while responding to Sayed-Khaiyum’s remarks during budget consultation in Nausori that Fiji’s economy was being politicised in an election year because people only focus on Fiji’s debt level and not those of other countries pre and post-Covid said the Attorney General is comparing apples with oranges.

He claims Sayed-Khaiyum is hopelessly trying to portray Fiji’s current debt of $9.125 billion as stated in Government’s Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released on 9th May this year, to debt levels of other countries particularly Australia and New Zealand.

“Australia and New Zealand provided almost $400 million to Fiji in budget support in 2021 because they knew Fiji’s financial position was in a precarious position."

“What Mr Sayed-Khaiyum should explain is how the debt level ballooned from $2.83 billion before the military coup in December 2006 to a projected $9.125 billion this year”.

“It means that after 36 years of Independence, Fiji’s debt stood at only $2.83 billion while in little over 15 years of Bainimarama and Fiji First rule, debt increased by $6.2 billion”.

“In 2006, the debt burden on every person in our estimated population of 830,000 was $3,410. Now every Fijian of our current projected population of 900,000 has a debt burden of almost $10,140. This is a huge increase by $6,730”.

“Why isn’t this cold hard truth explained to the people attending the Economy Minister’s budget consultation?”

“No matter how Fiji’s defacto Prime Minister tries to camouflage the issue, debt is debt. It’s a burden on the people, whether it be short-term borrowing, concession or soft loans on a longer repayment term”.

Prof Prasad went on to say that $6.2 billion worth of loans in 15 years is huge but the Government hasn’t achieved any milestone that will be beneficial to the nation in future.

By Reginald Chandar


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