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Fiji Time: 5:24 PM on Friday 25 April

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Relief for consumers

Avinesh Gopal
Saturday, November 24, 2012

THE Consumer Council of Fiji has welcomed the government's emphasis in the 2013 Budget on social protection which will allow low income earners and pensioners to have some gains.

The council also welcomed the 5 cents per unit reduction in electricity tariffs for next year.

Council CEO Premila Kumar said low income consumers earning up to $16,000, including government wage earners and unestablished staff, were bound to benefit from the 2013 National Budget.

"Those consumers earning $16,000 are exempted from paying taxes," she said.

"The budget has also guaranteed the wages of government established staff to $10,000 per annum and current unestablished staff will get a pay rise of 10 per cent.

"This will certainly ease the burden on consumers who are facing difficulties with the high cost of living."

Mrs Kumar said also for the first time in Fiji's history people 70-years old and older will receive pensions.

She said generally consumers would benefit from a 5 per cent reduction in electricity tariffs for 2013.

"Consumers have suffered a lot from the tariff realignments in 2010 and imposition of additional security deposit in 2011.

"The reduction of the electricity tariff will certainly bring about relief to consumers."