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Party voices concerns on cost of living

Dawn Gibson
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

GOVERNMENT cannot impose increased costs to their people by way of increasing prices of commodities, says PDP Suva party president Shamal Singh, following meetings with grassroots communities around the country.

Mr Singh said the biggest problems the party heard from these communities was that their everyday living was expensive, causing difficulty and grief.

"In pocket meetings, people have raised their voices about unemployment, the ever-increasing prices of basic food items, essential commodities and housing to name a few," Mr Singh said yesterday.

"Day-to-day living costs are continually increasing however, the income levels have generally not increased or in some cases where income may have slightly increased, it remains unmatched proportionate to rising expense."

He claimed that just a few years ago, prices of basic items such as milk and sugar were a lot less than they were now, and that these things directly impact grassroots communities.

"The price of bread, milk, butter and sugar for instance which, just a few years back, used to cost eighty cents a kilo, now the price of sugar is $1.50 a kilo average.

"It is the duty of the government and it is the responsibility of the government to ensure prosperous economic sustainability through means of attracting corporate investment, income generation and employment creation.

"The right to food is a basic human right and it is the duty of the government to protect the right of people to feed themselves with dignity in all affordable circumstances, however, the sad fact remains that there are our own people who cannot afford three meals a day."

He added that although education in Fiji was free, it did not mean every child would get an education.

"Instead, we should work towards ensuring every child has access to a means of receiving free education which broadly include transportation, school lunch, uniforms etc.

"Whilst visiting settlements we saw the poor state of living conditions, the inadequacy of proper housing thus adding to poor sanitary, security and comfort.

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