Political parties: People struggling to make ends meet

Professor Biman Prasad (centre). Picture: FT FILE

FIJI needs to be innovative to address social ills such as poverty, some political parties say. The National Federation Party (NFP), Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), Unity Fiji party and the Fiji Labour Party (FLP) believe that the country’s poverty rate has gone up, a strong indication of people struggling to make ends meet. As we head towards the 2018 General Election, The Fiji Times asked the six registered political parties on their stand on poverty alleviation. We asked: Based on the latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey, the Fiji Bureau of Statistics has estimated the country’s poverty rate to be at 28.1 per cent. q Will poverty alleviation be part of your party’s development strategies and what socioeconomic policies will your party use to alleviate poverty? The FijiFirst party and the Fiji United Freedom Party did not respond to the questions when this edition went to press yesterday.
Questions were sent to the parties via electronic mail (email) on Wednesday. The NFP, FLP, Unity Fiji and SODELPA responded to the questions. NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad said the 2013-14 household and income expenditure survey (HIES) by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics revealed poverty to be about 28.1 per cent, but four years later the figure was at direct odds given the number of people seeking assistance at various State-announced programs.
More in today’s edition of The Fiji Times and in our E-Edition.