Voters urged to evaluate economic status

Unity Fiji Party leader Savenaca Narube addressing the media during their press conference in Suva. Picture: File/ JOVESA NAISUA

VOTERS should measure how well the country’s economy is doing by using their own family situation as a measuring rod.

The former Reserve Bank of Fiji governor and Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube explained he would not place much emphasis on technical indicators such as gross domestic product.

“The more important issue that we should be debating is not growth but the distribution of the benefits of this growth,” he said.

“I urge us to use our own family situation as a measuring rod. “Have your children found jobs after graduation? How are you coping with the rising cost of living, stagnant incomes, escalating house prices and rents, the worsening traffic congestion, and the inconvenience of e-ticketing? These will tell you the truth. We, the people, are the best gauge of the conditions that we live in today. We know if our lives are getting better or worse.”

He claimed the Government debt level was another example of what voters could use to measure the health of the economy.

“Government says that debt is still manageable, but others, including me, say ‘no, it is not’.

“Debt is not something we see in our everyday life. It is out of sight. We only see the expenditures that are paid for by debt which can give us a false picture that this Government is doing well.

“When the debt problem becomes visible, it is too late. “By then we will already be over the financial cliff. So, it is important that we be conservative about our debt position. “In my view, debt is rising like nobody’s business and there are clear indicators of wasteful government spending. Those are ominous signs.”

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