Call to address cost of living, poverty

FWCC coordinator Shamima Ali and PM Voreqe Bainimarama. Picture: FT FILE

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum should focus on addressing poverty, escalating cost of living, deteriorating health services and water infrastructure instead of spending taxpayers money on frivolous trips, says Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali.

In a statement issued yesterday she said while the duo were gallivanting a road and raking in exorbitant allowances, many Fijians were struggling to feed their families.

Ms Ali said travelling overseas and around Fiji with their entourages was a very expensive exercise with the fuel price rises.

“This is the money of taxpayers and not the leaders’ own resources,” she said.

“We need to stop window dressing our issues and stop using tourism as a fa├žade of how great we are doing.

“They should look at what is happening in the lives of people.

“These overseas travels are exorbitant, unnecessary and extremely insensitive when many families cannot even afford enough food to feed their families because of the COVID crisis and the rising cost of living.

“We need leaders that believe in the welfare of the people.

“It is an election year and this is not the time to be gallivanting and meeting with the Fijian diaspora in San Francisco and Canada under the guise of government trips or Fiji Airways promotional flights.

“The Government should stop using government resources for electioneering and let the civil servants run the country until after the elections.

“It is in the interest of all of us and for good governance, integrity and honesty to have a caretaker Government.

“We are calling for a caretaker Government so that there is a level playing field for all political parties including the FijiFirst party to campaign.”

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