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Fiji Time: 6:29 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Barr: Poor lose out

Nasik Swami
Friday, November 30, 2012

ONE of Fiji's leading poverty advocates Fr Kevin Barr is disappointed at the government's failure to increase funding for low-income earners and the poor.

Following the 2013 National Budget address by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama last week, Fr Barr said housing, education, health care and food were basic needs.

The government allocated $1million to the Housing Authority to write off loans through its social housing policy, $1m to the Public Rental Board as rental subsidy for low-income tenants, $1m to address squatter settlements and $600,000 to HART for construction of new homes and maintenance of existing ones.

Fr Barr said mention was made of housing development in Raiwai, Tacirua and Raiwaqa.

"However, it was not mentioned that the cost of housing in these projects will be beyond the reach of most low-income earners needing housing," he said.

Fr Barr also highlighted that much was made of graduating welfare recipients from welfare to workfare.