A-G: You are scared

Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in one of the parliament sitting. Picture: RAMA/FILE

Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says if he had taken on the 2020-2021 budget suggestions by Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube and former politician Mick Beddoes, civil servants would have salaries slashed and Government would have lost about $130 million.

He made the comment during debate on the 2020-2021 Appropriation Bill in Parliament yesterday.

However, the A-G lauded Mr Narube for preparing and publishing an alternative budget and denigrated the Opposition for not being able to do the same.

“One of the things I take my hat off to Savenaca Narube for — he actually prepared an alternative budget — what have you guys done? What have you done?” said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

“You had the opportunity, you have more people, you have more resources, you did not do an alternative budget because you are scared.

“You are scared, you don’t know what to cut, what to increase — at least he had the gumption to do it.

“Obviously, it revealed his own frailties by doing an alternative budget but the fact of the matter is you have never done one, you have never done a budget.”

The A-G said the Opposition had made big on how Government had not taken Mr Narube’s views and the views of former politician and opposition leader Mick Beddoes.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Mr Beddoes had suggested civil servants only work three days a week and only be paid for the days that they worked.

He said this would have resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in their take home pay.

The A-G said Mr Narube had proposed increasing VAT to 12 per cent, imposing additional 20 per cent company tax surcharge, increasing personal income tax, increasing duty on motor vehicles and cutting civil service salaries.

“If we cut civil servants salaries, we are taking out, sucking out, even if you did 10 per cent, at least $120 to $130 million from the economy.”

More Stories