2019/2020 Budget: Family hopes for inclusivity

Picture: FILE

WITH the increase in the cost of living, one family is hoping that the 2019-2020 National Budget will be more inclusive to low-income earners.

Jai Wati, 70, has been a market vendor at the Suva Municipal Market and works six days a week to provide for her family.

The widow supports her two sons, her daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.

She said her eldest son was handicapped and unable to fend for himself, so her younger son stays home to look after him while she comes to the market.

One thing she expects from this budget is the reduction in the cost of basic groceries.

“I get around $58 per month from social welfare, and I earn around $50 per week,” she said.

“We buy groceries, but we never manage to have any money left because it’s all gone.”

Barely making enough, she said most of her social welfare money was spent on her son’s medication.

“I hope the budget reduces the cost of living and hopefully increase our social welfare (pension) too because I have to buy my son’s medication from the pharmacy. It’s around $9 which is for his gastric and it lasts for only two weeks.

“I have to spend $40 just to travel to and from the hospital as well for my son’s medical check-up, so at the end I am not left with much,” she explained.

The family has also been living without electricity at Koronivia settlement in Nausori for more than 14 years.

“For 14 years we have been living without having to iron our clothes and sharing our neighbour’s fridge,” she said.

Despite her age, Ms Wati said she would provide for her family as long as she lived.

More Stories