Narube: Minister made misjudgments

Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube Picture: FILE

Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube says the Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum again made major misjudgments with the 2021/2022 National Budget because of his lack of training and experience in budgeting and designing economic rescue packages.

In a statement, Mr Narube said the National Budget was big on small matters but small on the issues that mattered.

He said Government was going to borrow another $1.6 billion in the next financial year, increasing the country’s debt further to an uncharted territory of 92 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“When you add the government guarantees to this debt, the total debt liability rises to 102 per cent of GDP,” he said.

“This is exactly what I have been predicting in the last year.”

He said there were “many nice sounding noises of stability and sustainability but these were clearly not reflected in the bottom line when, at the end of day, the rate of debt accumulation was increasing”.

He said the budget helped people through many small things, resulting in not providing enough to each of those areas and would be nearly inconsequential to what mattered in people’s lives right now.

“In policy making, we must choose the instruments that make the most difference.”

He also said he was shocked that the entire address did not mention at all the worsening COVID-19 crisis in Fiji.

“To me, this accurately summed up the 2021/2022 Budget, one that has badly missed the points that matter the most to the people.”

Unity Fiji will be presenting a full analysis on the Budget on Thursday, July 22 at 2.30pm which will be streamed live on the Unity Fiji Facebook page.

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