Chamber happy with budget

GOVERNMENT must be congratulated on its visionary and empowering budget, says Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Peter Mazey.

“The Fiji Chamber of Commerce is pleased with the budget and while it did not address all of our submissions it has addressed the majority,” he said.

Mr Mazey said while the budget could be seen as empowering for all Fijians, it went a long way to enabling businesses and business development at all levels.

He said the chamber had been a long-time advocate of the importance of our small micro-enterprises (SMEs).

The chamber had even proposed a separate ministry for SME development in their budget submission, to look after job creation, innovation and technology start-ups.

“This ministry can look at micro, small, medium business requirements and also focus on innovation, technology start-ups, job creation and expanding the SME base,” their budget submission stated.

“And the budget certainly addresses this sector, in particular the potential of our young entrepreneurs who will be encouraged through the ‘Young Entrepreneurs Scheme’ as well as the other incentives offered,” Mr Mazey said.

He said the continuation of capital and infrastructure development was good for the future and encouraged private sector investment which would contribute to growth.

“And the large allocation to education will encourage our young, and assist in training of specialists to take up positions currently vacant and hard to fill which has affected the growth of some businesses,” he said.

“We see the budget as one addressing the country’s social responsibilities, with all sectors of the community benefiting, especially the elderly and those with special needs and also addressing affordable housing for everyone.”

He said the increased income tax threshold was part of the chamber’s submission but the new tax threshold far surpassed what they had suggested, but the benefits were many, not only for employees but also for business as it placed more money in circulation.

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