Forgotten pensioners

My question is directed to the CEO of Consumer Council of Fiji, Premila Kumar. Soon after the announcement of 2017-2018 National Budget, you appeared to be very excited and extremely happy. I do not have any issue with this since you have worked hard for a number of years to protect the interest of consumers.

Some of your submissions found its right place.

Now about the case of, I believe, 2000 to 3000 consumers who are not covered by this budget.

We are the old civil pensioners who gave over 30 years of dedicated service to Government. Some of us retired on a basic pension of $5000 per year and each time whenever there was any ‘cost of living adjustment’ (COLA) we were sometimes fortunate enough to be included with other civil servants.

But I believe this cost of living adjustment had been since abolished.

Today most of us find ourselves much below the $16,000 threshold. I believe our group is not covered by any section of this budget.

I personally do not envy all those who are lucky enough to gain salary or wages increase. They deserve this.

We always hoped that at least the VAT will be totally removed from the basic food items so that we could be a bit comfortable in this final stages of our lives.

Most of us have given up our kava, beer or wine but it is so difficult to go without food or medical needs.

If there is any way of achieving something for us, we shall be very grateful to you madam.

Sincerely hope you will attempt to get at least something for this unfortunate group.

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