Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says Fiji’s current debt portfolio is hovering at around $10 billion and with their current commitment, they will have to pay over $1 billion to service the debt annually.
Rabuka in a statement said this comprises $536 million in interest alone, and $516 million dollars in principal, to be repaid annually.
“This simply means that we do not have the fiscal space.”
“In other words, there is no room or limited capacity for Government to expedite and implement capital projects that are critical for investment to generate employment opportunities.”
He highlighted that the deficit has been brought down to 4.8 per cent compared to 7.4 per cent in 2022-2023 financial year.
Rabuka said despite the reduction in the deficit compared to the last three years, more work is necessary to further reduce our deficit to a desirable level at least, to below four per cent of GDP.
This includes measures to address the high debt level, minimise wastage, direct resources to priority sectors of Government and allow people access to basic services.
“It was important for the Government to make necessary changes to protect our nation from uncertainty that we face today, and possible future shocks.”
“We are operating in an uncertain and unpredictable global environment.”
Rabuka added that structural adjustment policies to improve efficiency and productivity are necessary in order for us to be relevant, adaptable and to be competitive in the global environment.