Biman: We rely on facts, figures from Govt

Professor Biman Prasad of Opposition (left) exits parliament after an earlier sitting. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA/FILE

THE National Federation Party has always relied on facts that Government publishes, says NFP leader and opposition member of Parliament, Professor Biman Prasad.

Prof Prasad’s response comes after claims by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in Parliament yesterday that NFP and the Fiji Labour Party were joining the alleged chorus of lies by another opposition political party.

Mr Bainimarama claimed that the NFP and FLP were all guilty of manipulating facts to mislead people to think that the poverty rate stood at around 50 per cent in Fiji.

“Honourable Biman Prasad thinks he can see far into the future because he had already labelled this year’s budget as a package of hand-outs long before it was announced,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“If the out-of-touch opposition would take the time to look up from their plate of buttered lamb chops and beer and actually see the needs of Fijian families, they would realise that calling Government’s initiatives “hand-outs” is an insult to Fijian families. It is irresponsible, and it is wrong.”

In his response, Professor Prasad said NFP maintained its stand that they have always quoted from facts.

“I don’t know what figure the PM was quoting. We have always relied on facts and figures that Government itself puts out,” he said.

“I’m not sure where the PM is coming from. As far as we are concerned, we will continue to articulate views based on facts and figures. That’s what we have done in the last three and a half years.

“Of course the Prime Minister will have to ask those who are paying very high prices goods in this country including beer and butter,” Prof Prasad added.

FLP said they would only comment after sighting the PM’s statement.