THE State cannot do anything further to help the poor buffer the increase in the price of flour and sharps, interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry said yesterday.
He said the interim Government had not taxed imported flour nor was Value Added Tax included in its local sale.
"It cannot be helped," said Mr Chaudhry.
"It is a global phenomenon just like the increase in fuel prices."
The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre said the news was a shame after interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama claimed that he had rescued the country after he took over the democratically elected government last December.
Crisis centre spokesperson Edwina Kotoisuva said concern over the increase in the prices of flour and sharps was based on the fact that the product was used by the majority of people.
"It is hard enough as it is. Women are the most affected by this decision because they are the ones etching out a living for their families. Things are not getting any easier," she said.
"It is not our fault that the prices have gone up but why should those in the lower income bracket be allowed to suffer?
"Not everybody has access to land they can plant food on."
Interim Minister for Women Adi Laufitu Malani has been in a two-day Cabinet sub-committee on the Great Council of Chiefs meeting and could not comment.