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We borrowed to put food on many tables: PM

 

Jul 25, 2022 03:02:39 PM

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the Government borrowed during the COVID-19 crisis to put food on the tables of many Fijians.
 
While contributing to the debate on the 2022-23 National Budget in Parliament today, Bainimarama said the Government delivered the support while also committing to the path towards fiscal consolidation as once again Fiji’s economy gained recovery steam.  
 
“During the crisis itself, we had to deal with the choices that will be for us, not the choices we wish we had. We had to choose the best option for our people, our businesses because the birth option did not exist.”
 
“So we acted as the Government was supposed to do. We borrowed as in the Government so that families could put food on the table and businesses did not have to shut down forever.
 
“If our people have not been given access to the unemployment benefit we rolled out in the pandemic and the social support which will never cut to the pandemic, families would not have been able to feed their children and keep their homes.”
 
“Businesses would have been forced to borrow much more at much higher rates to simply survive if they had been able to borrow at all.”
 
“The bottom line is that our borrowing protected families and business and that was the right call. Our recovery is proof.”
 
He also said the Government spawned compassion once again through a new $60 million inflation mitigation package.
 
“It includes cash support to families paid up per child $1 per day, or $7 a week or $30 a month. It is not a fortune by any means, but this is a different makeup of many needy families.”
 
“It certainly will be for a mother of four who will receive $720 in direct care support between the start of August and the end of December.”
 
“One of the payments, $180 will also go to tertiary students, people on government pensions and aftercare and social welfare recipients.  The situation is extremely volatile, which is why I will review our response in six month’s time.”
 
“If more support is needed, it will be given.”
 
By Romeka Romena  

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Last updated 29th September 2022

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