PM says rumours can impact economy

Prime Minister Voreqe Baininmarama during the parliament session yesterday. Picture: RAMA

THE rumours spread by the Opposition members of Parliament on liquidity could have a dampening impact on the Fijian economy, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

He made the comment in his response to the 2019/2020 National Budget in Parliament yesterday. “When it comes to the health of the economy, our political allegiances shouldn’t matter,” he said.

“In a country of Fiji’s size, once lies are told, people start to believe it and these rumours will reach the national stage.

“It can have economic consequences. If someone hears of an economic crisis, people can stop spending and investors might not want to open new businesses and cause political disagreement.”

Mr Bainimarama said there were fundamental differences between healthy debates. He said Opposition Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka had crossed the line from healthy debate to actively working to undermine the national economy.

“The latter, crossing the line from healthy debate to attempted destruction is precisely what is being done by members of the Opposition.”

He said the “Fijian economy is strong” and the liquidity levels were “more than sufficient”.

Mr Bainimarama said it was now a good time to do business and seek employment in Fiji. He said these were facts.

He said the Opposition should understand there was heightened level of responsibility that came with being an MP.

“You are not running office anymore, but you have a duty to protect the Fijian people.”

Mr Bainimarama added they had come up with initiatives to help lift the sugar industry in the next financial year.

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