Bainimarama: ‘Responsible budget’ will move Fiji forward

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Picture: FT FILE

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Picture: FT FILE

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has made it clear that the 2018/2019 National Budget is not a “one-off budget” during an election year; but was part of Government’s visionary plan.

Mr Bainimarama said this with “full confidence” during his response to the 2018/2019 National Budget in Parliament today.

“It is one building block on top of the great pillar of progress that we have already constructed,” he said.

He said the 2018/2019 National Budget was a responsible one that will move Fiji forward.

“This is a budget for all Fijian families. By the breadth of my experience, and through the wisdom this experience has blessed me with, I can say this with full confidence,” said Mr Bainimarama.

He has also reiterated that that every dollar the government spends was for the people of Fiji.

“As the Honourable Attorney-General has pointed out, we actually have a profit or operating surplus, taking in more revenue than we spend, when it comes to the day-to-day running of Government. Every extra dollar we take in is spent on capital investment for the benefit of our people, which is then complemented by strategic loans for further capital projects.

“Absolutely every dollar, every dollar borrowed by Government is used to invest back into our people. We use it for infrastructure spending, we use it for climate adaptation, expanding education, and providing medical services.”

Mr Bainimarama said people should not be led by the misinformation spread by opposing political parties.

“SODELPA’s chorus of lies is joined by Fiji Labour Party and the National Federation Party, as they all are guilty of manipulating facts to mislead you to think that the poverty rate in Fiji stands at around 50 per cent. This distortion is despicable,” said Mr Bainimarama.

“Madam Speaker, even the Leader of the Opposition has endorsed the Budget. You’ll probably find, Madam Speaker, that she’s already changed her mind. One thing that the Opposition is well-known for is their inconsistency in everything they talk about.”

Mr Bainimarama added that the budget had been expertly engineered by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy to further raise the quality of life for Fijians of all ages today, while also preparing our nation for tomorrow.

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