Minister has failed, Rabuka says

Leader of Opposition and Shadow Minister for Economy Sitiveni Rabuka. Picture: FT FILE/RAMA

MINISTER for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has lost the plot and it’s about time that he admits his failures, says Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka.

In addressing Parliament during his response to the 2019/2020 National Budget yesterday, Mr Rabuka called for the immediate removal of Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, claiming that he has manipulated and misled the people of Fiji.

“Mr Speaker sir, the general reaction from the public seems to suggest that the Minister for Economy has lost the plot and cannot admit his weaknesses,” he said.

“The ‘Khaiyum-nomics’ model has run out of steam and failed the people of Fiji.

“It is time he admits his failures so that we the people of Fiji, with our common purpose, can all work together as a nation to make necessary adjustments to rebuild our beloved nation.”

He said Government failed to bring about prosperity in the Fijian economy and Fijians needed to make necessary adjustments to lift the economy.

Mr Rabuka said because of misguided policies and bullish expenditure, Government had brought about a Bainimarama doom and gloom rather than a “boom”.

“But unfortunately, and it is on knowledge Mr Speaker sir, that the Minister for Economy will never practise what he preaches to bring about unity to our nation.

He (Sayed-Khaiyum) has created more division and hate among our different communities.”

Mr Rabuka called on Government to seek the assistance of the Opposition in order to address the economic problems in Fiji.

“The Government must realise that its public popularity is diminishing. There are good reasons for this and should consider seriously.”

Mr Rabuka said Government should stop the blame game that the Opposition and previous governments were responsible for all failures.

“The Prime Minister should immediately remove the Minister for Economy because he has manipulated and misled the people of Fiji, let alone this August House.”

He also urged Government to stop its expansionary approach under what he termed was the “Khaiyum-nomics” model and further consolidate the budget to ensure that fiscal space was available to cushion the impact of any looming challenges which could turn into an economic crisis.

“Most importantly, the key ingredient to success in any reform agenda is consultation with all key stakeholders in the formulation, implementation and monitoring reform activities.”

In his 2019/2020 National Budget address delivered on June 7, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Bainimarama boom was the age of historic economic achievements and an economic boom that had carried the Fijian economy through 10 years of expansion.

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