Fiji PM lashes out at NFP leader

Minister for Rural, Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu and Opposition MP Biman Prasad during break at Parliament yesterday - Monday, July 25, 2022. Picture: JONA KONATACI

If National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad cannot comprehend basic maths, he should go back to school.

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said this in Parliament yesterday while explaining the reduction in allocation to the Sugar Ministry in the 2022-2023 budget.

“It took honourable Biman Prasad a matter of days after the budget to begin lying to our canegrowers,” the PM said.

“Despite the A-G’s (Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum) total assurance that we would pay the full $85 per tonne, honourable Biman Prasad said we won’t be paying that guaranteed price. That is an outright falsehood.

“Our growers will get the full $85 per tonne, as we promised they would.”

Mr Bainimarama said the Government funded a top-up on the world market price for sugar, which meant when the world market price dipped, they stepped in to cover the difference, and when the world price increased, they did not have to spend as much.

He said at present, the world price of sugar was rising.

“So, the Government doesn’t have to subsidise as large of a difference as it did in previous years to reach the $85 price floor.

“The budget allocation reflects that. If the professor can’t comprehend those basic maths, he should go back to school.”

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