Aseri: It’s about ‘political survival’

Opposition MP Aseri Radrodro shares a light moment with Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar at the Parliament complex yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

THE FijiFirst Government is showing signs of a government desperate to escape from its shadowy past, claims Opposition spokesman on economy, Aseri Radrodro.

In his right of reply on the 2018/2019 National Budget in Parliament yesterday, Mr Radrodro claimed the Bainimarama-led Government was a government focused only on its political survival.

He said the new budget presented a rosy picture about what Government intended to provide for the Fijian people.

“Madam Speaker, at the same time, we see our people receiving lots of government handouts. The FijiFirst Government calls them assistance. We call them irresponsible policies that does not truly care about the Fijian families,” Mr Radrodro said.

“We on this side of the house and a growing majority of people in this nation, know for a fact that all the FijiFirst Government cares about is staying in power.”

He said it must be noted that the economy’s growth rate in recent years has been driven hugely by consumption.

Mr Radrodro claimed this was fed by many freebies that Government has allowed the Fijian people to become reliant upon.

“I must say that by lulling people into thinking they have a lot more cash in their pockets with policies like an increased tax threshold, government has been able to manipulate spending styles.”

He also claimed that Government continued to take from ordinary Fijians and their policies were hurting the poor.

Mr Radrodro said VAT revenue in the 2017/2018 National Budget was forecasted at $944m, but only $768.5m was collected.

This, he said, meant the Economy Minister presented to people promises of attractive giveaway and sweets, but to meet their costs would be another issue.

“No wonder some major projects that often get people all excited when announced by Government, remains an elusive dream today.”

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